Biden supports “brave women” in Iran, Tehran cracks down on protests

Biden supports “brave women” in Iran, Tehran cracks down on protests

US President Joe Biden told the United Nations on Wednesday that he stands in solidarity with “brave women of Iran” after at least eight people were killed in a “brutal” crackdown on protests sparked by the death of a young woman who was killed was arrested by the morale police.

Before Joe Biden, his Iranian counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi, has denounced Western hypocrisy and shown intransigence before the United Nations General Assembly while facing pressure on his country’s nuclear program and women’s rights, and is the subject of a complaint from dissidents in the United Nations New York.

Night demonstrations erupted for the fifth straight day on Wednesday evening in many Iranian cities, such as Urmia and Sardasht in northwestern Iran.

They have followed one another in fifteen cities since Mahsa Amini’s death was announced on Friday to the holy city of Qom, southwest of Tehran, the birthplace of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

According to the Iranian authorities, the death toll is six, to which must be added two people who were killed during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, according to a Kurdish group based in Norway.

Amnesty International also counted the deaths of six men, a woman and a child. The organization denounced “brutal repression” and “the illegal use of gunfire, steel bullets, tear gas, water cannons and batons to disperse protesters.”

In the south, videos appear to show Wednesday protesters burning a giant portrait of General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US attack in Iraq in January 2020.

Elsewhere in the country, protesters set police vehicles on fire, threw stones at security forces and chanted anti-government slogans, according to the official Irna news agency.

Police responded with tear gas and numerous arrests, the agency said. Other images show protesters defying law enforcement. The most viral on social networks are those in which we see women setting fire to their headscarves.

– “No to the scarf” –

According to Irna, men and women, many of whom had removed their headscarves, gathered in Tehran and other major cities across the country.

“No to the headscarf, no to the turban, yes to freedom and equality!” these demonstrators shouted in the capital, and their slogans were taken up in solidarity in New York and Istanbul.

However, information is circulating with difficulty in Iran, where social media was severely disrupted on Wednesday night.

22-year-old Mahsa Amini from Kurdistan (Northwest) was arrested in Tehran on September 13 for “wearing inappropriate clothing” by the Deputy Police, a unit responsible for enforcing the strict dress code in the Islamic Republic.

Activists said the young woman received a fatal blow to the head, a claim disputed by officials who announced an investigation.

Women in Iran are required to cover their hair, and the morality police also prohibit them from wearing short coats above the knee, tight pants, jeans with holes, and brightly colored outfits.

For Mahtob, a 22-year-old makeup artist wearing an orange scarf showing her hair, was interviewed in Tehran: “The scarf should be a choice, we shouldn’t be forced”.

– International convictions –

The announcement of the death of the young woman, whose Kurdish first name is Jhina, has provoked fierce condemnations internationally: in particular from the UN, the USA, France and Great Britain.

“We stand with the brave citizens and brave women of Iran who are demonstrating right now to defend their most basic rights,” President Biden told the United Nations.

In an interview with AFP on Wednesday morning, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly spoke of a possible “different path” for the Iranian leadership.

President Raisi, in a speech to the UN, immediately accused the West of applying “double standards” on human rights issues, denouncing the deaths of indigenous women in Canada or Israeli repression in the occupied Palestinian territories.

– “Very significant shock” –

These demonstrations represent “a very important shock” in Iran, “it is a social crisis,” David Rigoulet-Roze, a researcher at the Institute for International and Strategic Relations (Iris), told AFP.

These demonstrations are “perhaps the beginning of a big change,” added the director of the NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR), Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, in an interview in Oslo.

In New York, President Raisi is also the target of a civil lawsuit announced Tuesday by Iranian dissidents and former political prisoners who are suing him over the death sentences of thousands of people when he was a judge in the 1980s.

Finally, under pressure from the West to revive the deal on Tehran’s nuclear program, Mr Raisi assured the UN that his regime was not seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.



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