EPSU on Iran and Afghanistan – women’s rights and human rights

© Can Stock Photo argus

© Can Stock Photo argus

(1 February 2023) Iran has entered its fourth month of protests. These began with protests against the arrest and police murder of a young Kurdish woman, Zhina Mahsa Amini. The police said she was wearing headscarf “improperly”. Iranian women and eventually men stood up against the brutality of the regime with independent unions holding strikes. The regime has responded with even greater brutality: since then, more than 18,000 people have been arrested and over 500 killed by the police and the army in the nationwide protests.

This wave of repression comes on top of systematic fundamental human rights violations: from the right for women to self-determination and decisions over their bodies; to the right of association and freedom of speech.

In these same days, women in Afghanistan are progressively stripped of their rights, one after another. The suspension of the rights to access higher education, certain jobs and even public areas such as parks and other recreational facilities come on top of the structural violation of their fundamental women’s rights.

EPSU stands firmly with women in Iran, Afghanistan and those fighting for women’s rights and human rights across the world. We stand against regimes that consider women second class citizens. EPSU stands in solidarity with independent trade unions that are fiercely fighting against those regimes. We join the international trade union movement calling for immediate release of imprisoned trade unionists, protestors and those detained in violation of international law.