Senate debates

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Statements by Senators

Iran: Women

1:54 pm

Photo of Jordon Steele-JohnJordon Steele-John (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

On 13 September, Mahsa Amini was visiting Iran's capital, Tehran, from her hometown in the western Kurdish region. Little did she realise that this would be her last visit. Mahsa was arrested by Iran's morality police. Her crime: wearing a hijab too loosely. Three days later, Mahsa was dead in police custody. Mahsa represented women around the world. She represents a defiance in the face of restraint. She represents strength and, most of all, freedom. Her legacy will now always remind the world of the harsh realities of women's rights in Iran and indeed many countries.

More than 80 Iranian cities have bound together in protest, with women leading the way. A generation of young people, particularly young women, are filling the streets. I want to offer my full solidarity to the protesters and join them in their demand, in a call for women's rights and for the rights of every person to wear what they choose. These protesters are bold and they are strong. They hold in their hands the future of Iran, and I am honoured to amplify their calls in this place. The Iranian intelligence ministry has said that anyone that takes part in these protests will be doing so illegally. Iranian authorities are making every move to shut down the right of women to have a voice, and they are not holding back in this effort. Over 1,200 people have been arrested, and at least 57 have been killed to this point. The Australian government must work internationally to hold the regime to account and ensure that the forces responsible face consequences.