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Maggie Benston Centre, #2203, 8888 University Dr, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6

Statement in Solidarity with the People of Iran

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The GSS released the statement below in Solidarity with the People of Iran on Sept 28th. We, like many of the people protesting in Iran, are not opposed to people that freely choose to wear a hijab and stand in opposition to Islamophobic attitudes that suggest that a hijab is oppressive. We believe the rights of individuals to choose should not be inhibited by state laws, whether it is the banning of hijabs and turbans in Quebec or a mandatory hijab law in Iran. We reiterate our support for the people of Iran and their protests.


On September 13, Mahsa (Zhina) Amini, a young 22 year-old Iranian Kurdish woman was detained by the morality police in Tehran, Iran after being accused of violating a law that commanded them to cover their hair with hijab and wear loose clothing. After being detained to receive “education” on this law, Amini was brutally beaten and died of her injuries on September 16 while in detention. Morality police denied any wrong-doing, claiming that Amini collapsed of a heart attack, however Amini’s devastated family protested these claims, stating that Amini was in great health before being detained. This event sparked public outrage in Iran and has led to mass protests with women, men and all people alike taking to the streets for an end to the authoritarian government’s regime in Iran.
Women in Iran have bravely taken to ripping off their hijabs, chopping their hair and burning these hijabs in protest of their oppression. The heavy oppression of women’s freedoms along with crippling economic turmoil from western imposed sanction on Iran have catalyzed a movement across 30 regions of Iran for the removal of dictator Ayotollah Khamenei’s regime. Across the world, there have been mass protests in support of Iranian people’s democratic needs and calls for the removal of Khamenei and his Islamic Republic. In response, Iran is suppressing internet and social media access after videos began circulating of thousands protesting and calling for the “Death to the dictator”. For further information on the current situation in Iran see link 1, link 2, or link 3.
Amnesty international has condemned the actions of the regime: “Right now, there is a crisis of impunity in Iran, and it has emboldened the Iranian authorities to kill hundreds of protesters and torture and ill-treat thousands more in recent years without fear of consequences.”
The Islamic Republic is a totalitarian regime that has continued to oppress its citizens and in response to these protests, has killed more than 76 citizens. The actions taken thus far to suppress protesting such as the internet shutdown is paralleling actions taken during 2019’s Bloody November where more than 1500 people were murdered by the government while the world was unaware. Thus, the public must unite in condemning the actions of the Islamic Republic in Iran.
These actions threaten the basic human rights of women, and in silence, we grant permission for a regime to violently oppress our sisters across the globe. Thus, the Graduate Student Society of SFU and the Teaching Support Staff Union stand in solidarity with the Iranian protesters during this crisis. We ask that students use their voices while Iranian’s are unable to, and make sure that Iranian women and people’s pleas for justice and freedom are amplified around the world. You can support Iranian protests by circulating this message, sharing news posts, educating your peers and following these hashtags on social media:
Also, please stay tuned to the GSS and TSSU social media pages for updates on events being held in support of our peers across the world:
@sfugradsociety @tssu1978
The GSS Executive

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