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35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

Published

28 March 2023

Author

Fiji Women's Rights Movement

Themes

NGOCHR Solidarity statement for Iranian women and women’s human rights defenders 23/09/2022

NGOCHR Solidarity statement for Iranian women and women’s human rights defenders

23/09/2022
The NGO Coalition on Human Rights (NGOCHR), a coalition of 8 civil society organisations from Fiji, stands in solidarity with women human rights defenders and women in Iran as they face horrific attacks for not complying with the country’s strict laws on women’s dress. 
The Coalition is appalled by the gruesome abuse and unlawful custody of Mahsa Amini by the Iranian morality police on 13 September 2022. We strongly condemn the alleged torture and ill treatment that led to her tragic death. This incident follows the order by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in August, 2022 to enforce the country’s Hijab and Chastity Law resulting in a new list of restrictions targeting women’s dress and overall attire. The Coalition gathers that Mahsa Amini was arrested by the morality police in Tehran with her family. She was accused of violating the law by refusing to cover up her hair with a hijab, arms and legs with loose clothing. 
We strongly support the call for an independent investigation into Mahsa Amini's death who was allegedly beaten on the head with a baton and her head was bashed against a vehicle during her arrest. She collapsed whilst in custody falling into a coma for three (3) days, and eventually died while in hospital. We call for the immediate abolishment of the Iranian morality police who target, harass, intimidate and punish women and girls perceived to be “improperly” dressed under extreme religious ideologies and draconian laws. These harmful ideologies and practices only perpetuate violence against women and girls, and it must end now. The Coalition stands in solidarity with the Iranian people and the women's movement, calling for the international community and bodies to take an active stand to condemn Mahsa Amini's death, and the threats of violent retaliation by the Irain police on protesters.
An internet blackout has now been imposed on Iran with Instagram accounts with Iranian IP addresses blocked to prevent the sharing of videos and images from the violence currently being experienced in localities with the Iranian Republic where protests are rife.
Nine people are now reported to have been killed, with unrest spreading to 20 major cities. State media reported that police and security used teargas to arrest and disperse crowds of up to 1,000 people. However, reports show that protesters were open fired upon with live ammunition.
 The NGOCHR stands in solidarity with the women of Iran who are actively protesting on Mahsa Amini's death, and end to police brutality and intimidation, and the abolishment of discriminative laws and practice that target women and girls. 
We strongly condemn the use of religious fundamentalism to justify the atrocities faced by the people and especially the women of Iran. 
We stand in solidarity with the courageous women's movement in Iran who are risking their lives to protest and defy harmful ideologies, laws and practice that are repressing women and girls in Iran. 
The Coalition stands with you and we hear your plea. 
In Solidarity,
 
Fiji’s NGO Coalition on Human Rights (NGOCHR)