As protests continue to erupt throughout Iranian streets, the nation’s LGBTQ+ community has urged world leaders to join the revolution. The request came within a powerful statement published on rangallery.com, with nearly 50 activists signing their names in support.
For days now, Iran’s streets have been turbulent: “a turbulence born of civil struggles for freedom and resistance to the injustice and tyranny of the Islamic Republic,” the piece reads.
“This resistance – a lesson in freedom for all the world’s peoples – is a matter of life or death for the people who have felt the injustice and tyranny of the Islamic Republic’s totalitarian dictatorship in their skin, flesh, blood, and bones.”
According to sources on the ground, the people leading the Iranian revolution are predominantly brave women and girls, with the statement revealing that the country’s LGBTQ+ community has also come out in force.
“Alongside all Iranians, members of Iran’s LGBT+ community, despite years and years of repression and killing, have stood like cedars against injustice, all their branches rustling with courage, resistance, and freedom for the whole world to hear.
“The time has now come for people all over the world, especially world leaders – if they really do believe in principles of freedom, equality, democracy, and the Universal Declaration of Human rights – to not pass by this resistance indifferently, and to stand beside the people of Iran,” the piece continues.
In particular, it called out US President Joe Biden for engaging in “negotiations with a government [that] is based on gender apartheid and the comprehensive bigotry against the members of the LGBTQ+ community.” The statement also mentions French President Emmanuel Macron, who is criticised for “shaking hands and meeting with” an Iranian president who has openly attacked LGBTQ+ people in his public speeches.
It takes enormous bravery to go to the streets to protest Iran’s authoritarian “Supreme Leader.” But, led by courageous young women, that’s exactly what’s happening. I stand with all of those Iranians who are demanding freedom and a better future.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) October 5, 2022
Ireland is also singled out, alongside the UK, Germany, and Canada, who are urged to not “sit at a negotiation table with the leaders of this dictatorial, authoritarian regime”.
“In such conditions, any sort of agreement or deal with such a government would mean approval of the massacre of millions of people, especially members of the LGBT+ community, and mark a bloody page in the history of your countries’ international relations,” the statement concludes.
Protests broke out more than three weeks ago in Iran after 22 year-old, Mahsa Ahmini, was killed by police for disobeying strict laws that require women to wear the hijab. Since then, many others have lost their lives as a result of the conflict in the streets, as people fight against the violent repression that forces the country’s minorities into silence and deprives them of freedom of choice.
Iranian forces have killed 28 children, says Iran's Children's Rights Protection Society, in protests against the death of #MahsaAmini.
▪️Hundreds of children detained
▪️Parents not told of location
Family of 16-yr-old Nika Shakarami accuse forces of burying her body in secret. pic.twitter.com/F322HUdmmp
— AJ+ (@ajplus) October 12, 2022
In September, Iranian authorities sentenced two queer activists to death after they were found guilty of “corruption on Earth”. Zahra Seddiqi Hamedani and Elham Choubdar were accused of promoting homosexuality, promoting Christianity and communicating with media opposed to the Islamic Republic, but Iran’s judiciary claimed that their sentences were related to human trafficking rather than activism.
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