Iran || Justice for Zhina (Mahsa) Amini! Down with the Islamic regime • ISA

The assassination of Zhina (Mahsa) Amini, a young Kurdish woman, by the “morality police” in Iran has sparked a bold and explosive new movement from below, challenging the power of the mullahs and the regime as the President Raisi is welcomed to the UN General Assembly in New York! We stand firmly in solidarity with all the brave women, workers and young people who risk their lives taking to the streets shouting “Death to the dictator”, “Death to the oppressor – whether it is the Shah or the religious leader” and “Women, Life, Freedom”. No words can describe the sadness and anger that is present in our minds and hearts. We must turn this sadness and anger into coordinated action in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Iran, Kurdistan and across the region. While expressing our deepest condolences to Zhina’s family, relatives and friends, we, as ISA and ROSA International, will help organize and expand such kind of international protests and actions.

Zhina was beaten by the regime’s brutal agents and died after being in a coma for three days. Women in Iran are arrested and beaten daily for the way they dress. It is an example of brutal state violence and how it is linked to deep-rooted misogyny and femicide. That’s why the first thought of many was: it could have been me or my daughter or my sister or a friend. Being harassed or raped in the street for being a woman by religious men, the “morality police” or others is a well-known experience in all public and private spheres. Once you are arrested, you never know what will happen to you. This is not the first time that women have been killed in detention or under torture. Throughout its history, the murderous regime has desperately tried to cover up these murders in the form of heart attacks, suicides, etc. This time, however, it has led to widespread protests in various forms – from sit-ins to strikes, protests at universities to actions outside police stations.

Zhina’s murder was not an accident or the result of police error. This murder is a continuation of the systematic, mysogynistic and repressive policies that the Islamic regime has adopted since coming to power. For more than four decades, women and oppressed groups such as the Kurds have paid a heavy price with their bodies and their lives to defend their most basic human rights. By resisting the compulsory hijab, some of them regularly risk their lives, in order to demand freedom of choice over their bodies. The regime is now seeking to break the movement and the ongoing strike. In the Kurdish regions, for example, they have resorted to massive repression and even killings during demonstrations. But people’s deep and widespread anger cannot be silenced at this point. Zhina’s life has been caught in a situation where the regime is in the midst of multiple crises – inflation, growing poverty and soaring prices, which affect all women even harder. The mullahs are going through a deep crisis of legitimacy, risking their rule at every step, as we have seen throughout the pandemic with growing waves of protest and strikes, from teachers to oil workers, from nurses to truck drivers. bus. The people have had enough – and again it is women, for example Kurdish women and young people, who are at the forefront of the fight to end the rule of these Islamist killers. They are still the ones who took the first steps in building a movement to demand their own rights as well as the liberation of the working class, leading the revolutionary movement more than 40 years ago that was betrayed and robbed.

The regime is well aware of this power, trying to crack down more brutally on women, LGBTQI+ and young people in recent weeks and months as we have seen with the horrific death sentence against Zahre Sedighi and Elham Choobdar. But the movement now has the potential to spread even further across the country and across the region; as we know, women have played a key role in recent uprisings from Lebanon to Iraq. Women are taking off their hijabs, not only in Zhina’s hometown and region, but in protests that have spread to Tehran and Isfahan as well as Iraq. The security forces had threatened the family to bury their daughter at night, but they resisted and the ceremony turned into a strong protest which sparked this wave. On the panel of Zhina’s tomb, it is written in Kurdish: “Zhina, you do not die, your name becomes a code”.

The fight against compulsory hijab and Islamic dress codes is deeply linked to the fight against the whole regime and capitalist system in Iran and around the world. As we see globally, in times of crisis, leaders must take even greater control of women’s bodies and lives. The Iranian regime needs the brutal oppression of women through religious laws and violence to maintain gender roles and the massive exploitation of housewives. While Western politicians, US imperialism, etc. are trying to instrumentalize Zhina’s death for their own agenda, it is absolutely clear that these forces are not to be trusted. Our lives and our bodies are controlled by dress codes and abortion restrictions, by the explosion of gender-based violence and feminicides, by poverty and hunger. The imperialist forces have thrown the whole region into war and destruction, threatening the lives of women by having contributed to the rise of right-wing Islamist forces such as in Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria but also through their sanctions in Iran, which do not affect the super-rich mullahs but the working class and the poor, and women in particular. They also all pander to the leaders of the arch-reactionary Saudi regime, whose treatment of women is equally abhorrent – ​​having, for example, handed decades-long prison terms to female activists simply for posting their views on social media. social. These powers are not interested in true freedom and the liberation of the masses. This is why it is only through the power of women, workers, all oppressed and poor in Iran and their independent action and organization that the regime can be overthrown.

To demand that Zhina’s killers receive the punishment they deserve, we must take up the fight against the entire regime. Fight for the end of compulsory hijab and for the right of women to wear what they want, the end of all misogynistic rules and laws and all forms of discrimination against oppressed groups and minorities. We must fight for the right to demonstrate and organize, so that all political prisoners are released. For a decent life, security, jobs and wages – independence for women in all aspects of their lives. These demands contrast sharply with the regime’s agenda and necessities. We have a deep conviction that these demands will be met with the unity, solidarity and independent struggles of the working class with women and the oppressed on the front lines.

Such a struggle has the potential to tackle deep-rooted sexism, violence and discrimination. The regime has always used the brutal discrimination of the Kurdish people as well as other minorities to divide and conquer. The Kurdish labor movement and the radical feminist movement and its activism therefore pose a very specific threat to them. This is why the strike call launched by the Kurdish workers’ organizations must be taken up by the whole of the Iranian workers’ movement. It must be expanded to create action committees in all schools, universities, workplaces and neighborhoods. To show that the Iranian workers’ movement cannot be separated from the struggle of all the oppressed — it is the same struggle against the same enemy. This kind of solidarity is needed to overcome national and ethnic divisions as well as gender-based discrimination and violence. The same goes for the international labor movement which urgently needs to build international solidarity from below as an alternative to the hypocrisy of Western imperialism and its liberal feminism. Recent strike actions in a number of cities and regions of Iran have shown the potential for a strong, democratically organized and coordinated multi-ethnic and multi-gender working class movement that has the power to end the mullahs’ regime. , to overthrow Raisi Khamenei and the entire regime, take over the entire system and the economy and fight for a democratic and socialist system guaranteeing freedom, equality and bodily autonomy.

Elna M. Lemons