Iran Repression Continues: NGO Action Needed


René Wadlow – TRANSCEND Media Service

17 Aug 2023 – Repression of protests in Iran continues.  A wave of protests swept across the country in the wake of the Sep 2022 death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Jina Animi, an ethnic Kurd.  It is estimated that the Iranian security forces have killed over 500 protesters and arrested some 20,000 persons of all ethnic and religious backgrounds.

In response to the State-led violence, the United Nations Human Rights Council has created on 24 Nov 2022 the International Independent Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran with the chairmanship of Sera Hossain of Bangladesh.

One aspect of the repression of protests is that religious leaders of the Sunni Muslim communities especially in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchistan province and the Kurdish provinces are being increasingly targeted by the Islamic Republic authorities for arrest and imprisonment because of their peaceful criticism of the repression of protests.  Iran is a majority Shia Muslim country, and Shiism is the official religion of the State.

Religious minorities include Sunni Muslims, Christians, Baha’is, Zoroastrians, Jews and the Gonabadi Sufi community.  Religious and ethnic identities in Iran often overlap.

Another aspect of the repression of protests has been the public hanging of some protesters.  The Association of World Citizens has repeatedly called upon governments for a moratorium on executions with a view of abolishing the death penalty – a penalty that extensive research has shown has little or no impact on the level of crime and too often opens doors to judicial errors and injustices.

The U.N. International Independent Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran has called on non-governmental organizations for information.  The broader NGO community needs to keep public attention focused on events in Iran.


René Wadlow is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. He is President of the Association of World Citizens, an international peace organization with consultative status with ECOSOC, the United Nations organ facilitating international cooperation and problem-solving in economic and social issues, and editor of Transnational Perspectives.

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 21 Aug 2023.

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