Several organisations and hundreds of well-known international figures including Nobel laureates, politicians, activists and movie actors from 80 countries called on all states to support the freedom movement in Iran, as the nationwide anti-government protests in the country continue for five months.
Campaigners called on governments to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation and to impose sanctions on all Iranian officials involved in the crackdown, including supreme leader Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei and local paramilitary Basij commanders in a petition launched on Wednesday by Freedom House, a Washington-based NGO.
The petition also urges legislators and others to “adopt” individual arrestees, especially those facing execution and highlights the demonstrators’ need for technical assistance, including equipment to be able to counteract censorship and surveillance.
“The Azadi movement addresses no demands to the regime, which it regards as fundamentally illegitimate and beyond reform. The protesters chant ‘down with’ it. They want theocracy and dictatorship replaced by freedom and democracy. They proclaim a revolution,” the campaigners say.
“They deserve unstinting support from freedom-loving people around the world.”
Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; former prime ministers of Canada, Stephen J. Harper, Kim Campbell and Charles Joseph Clark; and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are among the prominent names supporting the petition.
The Iranian people have made themselves clear: They want freedom and democracy. Not dictatorship and theocracy.
Join me in standing with protestors calling for freedom. Add your name to @freedomhouse’s #IranSolidarity petition: https://t.co/7otBgqx6Av pic.twitter.com/fOkr0S1Wms
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 1, 2023
International support for Iranian protesters is growing, as Iran’s security forces increase its use of violence to suppress the protests. Recently, the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom imposed new sanctions on Tehran, while the European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution advising the inclusion of IRGC on the EU’s terror list.
Britain is also reportedly gearing up to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organisation, and Germany’s foreign minister recently urged the EU to do the same.
Iran has so far executed four people linked to the protests that were sparked after 22-year-old Jîna (Mahsa) Amini died in hospital following her arrest by the country’s morality police for disobeying the hijab rules. At least 15 more remain at risk of execution as some human rights groups cite higher numbers.