This Ends Now group are urging the people of Stroud to signal their disgust as Iranian authorities continue their brutal crackdown on protests against their abusive and discriminatory laws.
The vigil will take place at The Sub Rooms from 2pm on Sunday.
This Ends Now, is a newly formed campaign group in Stroud asking for an end to sexual violence against women and girls. The group has been following the news of Iranian protests across Iran which started eight weeks ago straight after the funeral of Mahsa Amini, who eyewitness reports claim, was violently beaten by Iran’s so-called ‘morality’ police.
“The situation in Iran is something that sits close to our hearts,” said This Ends Now co-founder, Nikki Owen. “We find the degrading and discriminatory laws against women’s rights and their enforcement through detention and torture by the ‘morality’ police abhorrent. We want to show our solidarity with the women in Iran who are being oppressed by a cruel regime.”
Amnesty International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) focused on human rights reports that Iranian authorities have initiated a deadly crackdown on protesters, unlawfully using live ammunition, tear gas and water cannons. The NGO has recorded the death of dozens of men, women and children and have found that survivors who have sustained painful and serious injuries are not seeking hospital treatment for fear of arrest.
Iran Human Rights, a Norway-based non profit organisation, has said 326 people including 43 children have been killed by security forces, with captured protesters now facing death penalty charges.
Iranian authorities continue to deny killing peaceful demonstrators and at the time of writing there is grave concern and much confusion around the fate of the 15,000+ protesters currently being detained, some facing charges that can carry the death penalty.
“We invite everyone to join us outside The Subscriptions Rooms in Stroud on 20 November at 2pm for a short, peaceful vigil to bring attention to this social injustice,” comments Sydney-Anne McAllister, This Ends Now’s co-founder. “We’re inviting people to tie their hair in a ponytail as a symbolic gesture, a salute to the many brave Iranian women, some as young as 15 who have cut their hair as a symbol of freedom.”
The vigil via This Ends Now is one of the few around the world to be organised by non-Iranian-born citizens and the group have invited Iranian-born film producer Nastaran Kavir and Iranian-British writer/director Sohrab Kavir to speak at the event.
Nastaran Kavir shared her experience of life in Iran and called on people to act: “I had no hope for equal rights for women [in Iran]. I left everything behind and migrated to the UK, so my daughter won’t have to face the same atrocities I had to face. After the death of Mahsa Amini by the Iranian morality police, we are now witnessing the largest women’s rights movement in history. Now for the first time, we have hope. We don’t need you to rescue us, but we need you to pressure your politicians to stop supporting our murderer regime. I hope that together we won’t let all those women who are now getting raped and shot because they demand their rights to die for nothing.”
When asked about what the vigil meant to Iranian people, Sohrab Kavir said: “It’s good to talk and for Iranian people to see that they’re not alone in the fight for equal rights. Hosting this vigil, turning up and showing your solidarity is the best gift that you are giving to Iranian women at this time. As a father of a girl, husband of a woman, son of a mother, I also appreciate this great gesture.”