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Oxford students launch campaign group to support Iranian citizens

Cecilia Catmur reports.

Students have formed a new group to protest the Iranian government’s treatment of its citizens.

In a statement, pre-released to Cherwell, Oxford Students Against Repression in Iran (OSARI) “condemn the state violence of the Islamic Republic of Iran against its own citizens, especially women,” and express “solidarity and support for the brave protestors challenging this systematic repression.” 

The groups’ statement addresses the current, 43-year ongoing “systematic oppression, inequality, corruption, mismanagement, and hypocrisy” in the Islamic Republic. Iranian people have been protesting since mid-September in response to the killing of Mahsa (Jina) Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman by the Islamic Republic’s morality police. 

Furthermore they call for solidarity, for university students and staff across the world to “join (their) call in amplifying the voices of Iranians.” 

The statement details ways in which university members can help their cause. They call university students and staff to form collectives to support protestors. They also encourage the spreading of statements supporting protestors and calling “for the immediate release of all students, academics and activists arrested in the protests” from university administrators. The statement also encourages students and staff to contact local politicians to “call on their governments and the international community to hold the Islamic Republic to account for its abuse of human rights and crimes against humanity through all diplomatic and judicial avenues.” Finally, they ask for awareness to be raised on social media about the human rights abuses in Iran. 

Finally, they address “our compatriots protesting in Iran”: “We are standing by your side and are inspired by you courage. We will do everything in our power to amplify your voices and rightful demands and make them echo throughout the world. We will not let your sacrifices and heroic efforts to combat tyranny go in vain.” 

The campaigning group hopes to “work together to build a free Iran based on democracy and equality for all, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, or political orientation.”

Her death has sparked what the statement deems “rightful and repressed” anger across Iran and the world. However, this response in Iran has been met by brutal suppression. It has led to the killing of hundreds of peaceful protestors, and the arrest of thousands more. 

OSARI are “especially horrified by the murder of innocent children, attacks on universities and schools, arresting and torturing the students, and the complete disregard for fundamental human rights.”

The release of this statement follows a demonstration on October 11th where Oxford’s community gathered to commemorate and protest Amini’s death 

Image credit: Oxford Students Against Repression in Iran

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