Iran - 15 May 2023 Meeting Highlights - Sutton Amnesty

Iranian diaspora protest in London

Our online Sutton Amnesty meeting in May dealt with Iran. It was attended by 37 Amnesty supporters including representation from Sutton Amnesty and 6 other groups. Our chair had assembled a cast of three excellent speakers who each gave a different perspective on the country's problems within an overarching theme of 'Educate, Inspire, Act'   

Elika Ashoori, the daughter of Anoosheh Ashoori - released from Evin prison in Tehran last year and now returned to the UK, spoke about conditions in jail and the need for both prisoners and their families to receive psychological support. She also spoke of the importance of fund-raising to facilitate this support. Elika emphasised the need for effective publicity around individual prisoner cases.

Mana Nademi, prominent in 'Voice of Iran UK', described recent disturbances in Iran and the culture of impunity surrounding the IRGC (the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps). There are thousands of political prisoners in Iran, many in solitary confinement and kept in poor conditions. Mana emphasised the need to be strategic and also pointed out that the slogan 'Women, Life, Freedom' was occasionally misunderstood - men as well as women are active in the protests.

Nina Navid, part of Amnesty's advocacy team, quoted Amnesty figures of 300 protesters killed since the death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022, including 44 children. She believed the true number to be much higher. She counselled local groups to complete Urgent Actions in relation to Iran and send open letters to the embassy in London.  She also directed us towards Iran pages on Amnesty websites ( https://www.amnesty.org.uk/issues/iran and https://www.amnesty.org/en/location/middle-east-and-north-africa/iran/ ).  Nina invited us to bring forward any campaigning ideas to her and Amnesty.

It was an extremely successful meeting with numerous tributes given to our three speakers from our friends in other groups.

Urgent Actions

The Group was again active with members completing actions to:

  • request investigations into the poisoning of Iranian schoolgirls;
  • prevent the feared imminent executions of six Ahwazi Arabs in Iran;
  • a similar action for Majid Kazemi, Saleh Mirhashemi and Saeed Yaghoubi also in Iran. Sadly all three were executed shortly afterwards

We also made our 'seventh of the month' appeal for Alaa Abdel Fattah (it was on 7 November that Rishi Sunal spoke to President al-Sisi about Alaa's case) and a further action for Alaa, Mohamed Baker and Neama Hisham.

Other actions involved:

  • Mattiulah Wessa, arrested for supporting education in Afghanistan
  • demanding an investigation following the deaths of 37 people following security guard brutality between Morocco and Spain
  • domestically, signing petitions to 'Protect the Protest' in the UK. The latter more keenly felt following events at the recent Coronation.
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