Campaign group This Ends Now held a peaceful vigil on Sunday to signal their disgust as Iranian authorities continue their crackdown on protests.
This Ends Now, a newly formed campaign group asking for an end to sexual violence against women and girls, has been following the news of 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” says 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.”
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.”
After a short silent vigil a number of women, including This Ends Now co-founders Nikki Owen and Sydney-Anne McAllister, cut their hair as a mark of solidarity and a salute to the many Iranian women, some as young as 15, who have cut their hair as a symbol of freedom.
“I am cutting my hair as I don’t have that lived experience, but the issues of women’s rights and women’s freedoms transcends countries and is an issue that means a lot to me, and I’m going to show my solidarity by cutting my hair,” explained Sydney-Anne.