Opinion: We Should All Fight for Human Rights in Iran

Although the government has tried to silence the people of Iran by shutting down the internet and suppressing protesters, we can use our collective global voice to speak out

Opinion: We Should All Fight for Human Rights in Iran

It is long past time that Iran ceases oppressing women and stops its attack on civilians. There are many current examples of legalized oppression occurring around the world. People are demanding their rights in society: equality for women and men, children's rights, freedom of religion, marriage equality, and in some instances, the basic right to live their lives freely.

The last 10 years, I have lived freely in the United States as an immigrant. The various freedoms and rights that are given to women and men equally in American society have personally had a profound impact on me. My endeavor is to work to advocate for people across our international community who suffer abuse due to oppressive laws or illegal acts which deprive them of their rights. Today, I use my voice to stand with the brave Iranian women and men who are out in the streets fighting for their basic human rights.

My generation has tried in many ways to demand change in an attempt to forge a better society to live in; but the results have been dismal. Peaceful protesters in Iran face the government's aggressive attacks, leading to an increase in oppression, arrests, and even deaths. Sadly, the people of Iran have no control over their lives; they have been stripped of their economic, cultural, and personal rights since the Islamic Republic took over the country in 1979.

One of the most pervasive sources of legalized oppression in Iran is the public dress code. While it may seem unimaginable to people in the West, in Iran a strict dress code is enforced by morality police in all public places. Both men and women are routinely stopped for alleged violations, though women face more restrictive requirements. Too often, individuals stopped are taken into custody and transported to a local jail. In these jails, people are sometimes extorted, beaten, raped, or even, as recently occurred, murdered.

People of Iran are facing brutal oppression by the Iranian government. Last month, a 22-year-old woman named Mahsa Amini was arrested by the morality police because her hair was showing. She was brutally killed while in their custody. I share a culture and homeland with Mahsa Amini. This act of violence against women is deeply personal. And today, my Iranian brothers and sisters are out on the streets shouting for their basic human rights, and they need the world to hear them.

I share a culture and homeland with Mahsa Amini. This act of violence against women is deeply personal.

Although the government has tried to silence the people of Iran by shutting down the internet and suppressing protesters, we can use our collective global voice to speak out.

Despite opposition from Iranian people and even some American politicians, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi appeared at the United Nations General Assembly and was given a platform where he spoke about, ironically, human rights! It is time for UNGA to take a drastic shift in their policies. They cannot allow oppressive regimes to speak about human rights.

Additionally, the international criminal courts must prosecute Raisi for his terrorist activities and mass murders. Islamic Republic government should not be a recognized government anymore. They have proved to the world their intentions – funding terrorist organizations, killing not only Iranian people but Americans, illegally holding hostages from all over the world for ransom demands, and more crimes against humanity. If the international community prosecutes this regime, the entire world will be a more peaceful place. Speak up now before more life is lost.

I ask President Biden to impose the utmost sanctions on this government. No government shall be allowed to buy oil from the Iranian government, which uses the money earned from selling oil to fund terrorist organizations around the world. I ask President Biden to take action today!

I ask that my senators raise their voices for Iranian people, for democracy, for human rights, for freedom of speech, for freedom of expression, for women's rights, and for a free life. I ask the government to call in the Iranian diplomats and question them about what is happening in Iran and order their removal from the United States.

While they may be thousands of miles away, Iranians are your brothers and sisters who are being brutally shot and killed. My voice alone may not be heard, but together our collective voices will be heard.

This is the time to take action. Please raise your voice for Iranian people.


Mahsa Monshizadegan is an Iranian-U.S. citizen and a law student at University of Houston Law Center.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Iran, protest, Mahsa Amini, Ebrahim Raisi, human rights, women's rights, morality police, Joe Biden

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