Update 22 December 2022
Hamed Salahshoor was a twenty three year old Iranian taxi driver who disappeared in late November after being arrested by Iranian security forces for alleged offences relating to the ongoing protests against the Iran government. The security forces buried Hamed and claimed he’d suffered a fatal heart attack while in custody. Hamed’s family arranged for his body to be exhumed and discovered that his face was smashed, his nose, chin and jaw were broken and his body had stitches extending from his neck to his navel and over his kidneys.
Another Iranian man Mohammad Medhi Karami is presently in prison facing execution as a consequence of his alleged involvement in anti Iran government protests. His parents have used social media to plead for the Iranian government to spare the life of their son.
Amnesty International have reported that at least twenty six people are currently at risk of being executed for their involvement in anti Iran government protests.
15 December 2022
Time magazine recently recognised the Women of Iran as their 2022 Heroes of the Year
Mahsa Amini was a twenty two year old Kurdish woman who visited Tehran on September 13 this year with her family. She was arrested by the Gasht-e Ershad (Morality Guidance Patrols), the Iranian police unit which amongst other things enforces a strict dress code for women including the mandatory wearing of a headscarf (hijab). Her arrest took place at the entry of the Shahid Haghani Expressway in Tehran.
After being subjected to severe brutality by the so-called morality police, Mahsa was admitted to a Tehran hospital and sadly died on September 16 after having been in a coma for three days. She is now buried in her home city of Saqqez in the Kurdish province in northwest Iran.
These events triggered unprecedented confrontational protests throughout Iran which are ongoing.
Videos and images posted on social media depict women removing their veils and chanting "Women, life, freedom" and "Death to the dictator," slogans directed at Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader.
Ayotollah Ali Khamenei is Iran's supreme leader
Sayyid Ebrahim Raisolsadati became the President of Iran in 2021
The Iran government subsequently blocked access to Instagram and WhatsApp, the two most popular social media apps in Iran and imposed draconian restrictions on internet access.
As at December 7, a Iran Human Rights Organisation reported that at least 458 people including 63 children and 29 women had died as a consequence of the ongoing nationwide protests throughout Iran. It has also been reported that in excess of 18,000 people have been arrested. Mind bogling numbers.
Time magazine’s recognition of the Women of Iran is very fitting. The citizens of Iran are exraordinarily brave to risk serious if not lethal repercussions from the repressive government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the free world should stand in their support. Rejigit salutes them.
Cartoon by New Zealand cartoonist Emma Cook