The Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies stands in solidarity with the Iranian people’s mass uprising across the country after the killing of Jina Mahsa Amini at the hands of Iran’s so-called “morality police.” Jina Mahsa Amini (a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman) was detained by the police on September 16 for allegedly violating the regime’s compulsory veiling laws and died while in police custody. Amini’s murder for not following compulsory hijab laws is the most recent example of state-sanctioned and systemic oppression faced by women in Iran under theocratic rule. Iranian women are leading the movement and have endured police violence, arrest, and murder. Nonetheless, they have continued to defy the state and take over the streets. We are inspired by their bravery, and we condemn the brutal response of Iran’s security forces.
We simultaneously condemn the use of the uprisings for imperialist and Islamophobic agendas. Western interventions in Iran, be it through military takeover or sanctions, have hurt the Iranian people for decades, and we are wary of those who have long championed Islamophobic and anti-immigrant attitudes and structures that are now supposedly supporting the Iranian protestors. The Bonham Centre stands against all forms of gender and sex regulation, be it through mandatory veiling or unveiling, and against all policies and structures that deny people their quest for freedom. Our thoughts are with all political prisoners in Iran, the majority of whom have been women, queer people, ethnic minorities, and youth, and we honour the remarkable women who reject the current regime and continue to fight for equality and justice.