How to show support for Iranian women and those protesting for human rights in Iran

Iranians aren’t advocating violence, they’re asking for justice

Protests in Iran started on 13th September after 22-year-old Masha Amini was arrested by morality police in Tehran for allegedly violating Iran’s strict rules which require women to cover their hair with a hijab or headscarf. Three days later she died and reports surfaced showing officers beating her head with a baton.

The Iranian authorities allege Masha suffered from a heart attack and to support this claim they released footage of Masha collapsing in the police station. However the clip, alongside images of Masha in a coma, enraged the people of Iran. Protests have been ongoing since the day after Masha’s funeral. Iran is seeing women ripping off their headscarves in solidarity, burning them and cutting their hair in public. Iran is currently facing one of its biggest shows of dissent following the tragic death of Masha Amini and this is how you can help:

Write to your MP asking them to support Iranian women’s rights publicly

One measure you can take to show solidarity to the people fighting against Iran’s human rights violations is writing to your MP. This will show how important this issue is to you and that you demand the government takes a stand as well starting with your MP. You can find your MP on the government’s official website.

Donate to human rights organisations

• The Center for Human Rights in Iran works to protect human rights in Iran by researching and documenting human violations across the country as well as disclosing them to the media and the public to help bring about change.

• The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran is raising funds to support their work against the gender-based inequalities in Iran. The committee serves as a source of information inside Iran and frequently attends international and regional conferences on women’s issues.

IKWRO is a registered charity in the UK providing advice and support to Middle Eastern, North African and Afghan women and girls. It also offers training for them to understand their rights.

Help users bypass internet censorship

Support applications such as the Tor Project’s Snowflake proxy to help users circumvent censorship. Snowflake is a system that allows people from all over the world to access censored websites and applications. It’s similar to how VPNs work with getting around censorship. It allows people to use the internet undetected and looks as though people are using it for a regular video or phone call. You can find out how to use Snowflake here.

Join protests

Protests have been going on globally asking governments to step in and end the violence against Iranian protests. One has already taken place in London.

There are also protests planned around the UK such as Glasgow so check your local area for updates.

Share and amplify information and posts on protests

Raising awareness to your following is a huge help, even if it’s only a couple of hundred people seeing it. It gears people into reading posts if they see multiple people they follow share the same one. Staying educated is also important and that comes with knowing who to follow for legit information, accounts like @MiddleEastMatters on Instagram can help you stay up to date on what to do. They also post updates about protests you can go to to help support Iranians.

Take action

Using your personal platform to voice our solidarity is great. Even if it’s sharing something on Facebook, posting a tweet or reposting something on Instagram. You don’t have to be out at a protest to show you’re passionate about something – taking action at home is just as important.

Using hashtags such as #FreeIran, #MashaAmini #ZhinaAmini and #WomenLifefreedom are also useful.

Keep using your voice

Masha Amini died and now the people of Iran are using everything they have to fight for human rights. They’re standing by and supporting Iranian women hoping for change, praying it doesn’t come at the cost of thousands of lives. Hundreds of people have died during these protests, they weren’t advocating for violence, they were asking for justice.

Stand with Iranian women and everyone protesting for human rights. Listen to them and help them – too many lives have been lost and worldwide public support can contribute to a bigger change.

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Iranian flag image by sina drakhshani on Unsplash.

Woman, life, freedom image by Artin Bakhan on Unsplash.

Image of woman cutting her hair via Alexandros Michailidis on Shutterstock.