Editor's note: This article was originally published on Oct. 6, 2022, and has been updated to reflect additional ways Global Citizens can help support the movement. 

The Islamic Republic’s crackdown against months of escalating protests in Iran is turning even more lethal, with government officials starting to publicly execute demonstrators, including 23-year-olds Majid Reza Rahnavard and Mohsen Shekari. 

These executions — largely viewed as a desperate attempt at clinging to power and a last stab at suppressing an uprising that has become the most significant in Iran since the 1979 revolution — come after months of protests, strikes, and women cutting their hair, burning their hijabs, and dancing in the streets following the death of Mahsa Jina Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman. Amini is alleged to have been beaten to death by the so-called morality police in Tehran for showing her hair beneath her hijab on Sept. 16.

For decades, women living in Iran have been targets of abuse, silenced, and had their rights taken through the enforcement of strict laws. Women in the country have routinely been subjected to dress code-related violence after losing their choice to decide if they want to wear a hijab or not in 1979 under sharia law (Islam’s legal system). For many, Amini’s death was the final straw to spark a global outpouring of anger and solidarity with women in Iran’s lack of freedom.   

But the mass protests have not been without consequence. Since the protests began in September, Iran’s security forces have killed hundreds of Iranians, in a brutal response characterized by mass arrests, beatings, military assaults, and the murder of dozens of teenagers and children. At least 458 people have been killed by security forces as of Dec. 7, according to Iran Human Rights, and the United Nations says 14,000 have been arrested.

Thousands around the globe in major cities including Paris, Los Angeles, and Toronto have gathered together in support of Iran’s protests, condemning the country’s crackdown on demonstrations in the aftermath of Amini’s death and more are planned on Saturday Dec. 17.

Here are 11 things you can do to join the effort to support Iranian protestors wherever you are. 

1. Demand that the international community urgently call on Iranian authorities to halt executions.

Join Amnesty Iran and a group of 45 Iranian activists in asking that the international community and António Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations, send a clear message to the Islamic Republic and Iran’s Supreme Leader, Sayyid Ali Khamenei: immediately halt all planned executions and stop using the death penalty as tool of political repression against protesters.

In an open letter, Iran activists called on Guterres to react to the execution of Mohsen Shekari and the expansion of repression by the Islamic Republic. 

Human rights groups say the trials of the two men who have been executed so far resemble “lynching committees” with no judicial due process. The men were not allowed to choose their own lawyers, challenge the evidence against them, or ask for their trials to be held in public. 

As of Dec. 19, 28 Iranians have been sentenced to death over the protests, including Iranian footballer Amir Reza Nasr Azadani

Sign the petition to pressure global powers to raise their voices for those in Iran who have been unjustly sentenced to death and call on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to immediately suspend the Iranian National Olympic Committee from the next Olympic games. 

2. Sign a petition asking G7 leaders to expel Iran’s diplomats. 

Almost a million people have signed a petition calling on G7 leaders (that’s Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US) to take urgent action to identify the ambassadors or other representatives of the Islamic regime and order their removal from those countries in protest at the illegal and inhumane treatment of protesters in Iran. Sign your name now.

3. Join the global rally on December 17. 

The public outcry over Mahsa Jina Amini’s death and the execution of protestors worldwide shows unprecedented support for the people in Iran. Crowds are chanting, “Jin Jiyan Azadî” — or “Women, Life, Liberty” — cutting their hair in solidarity and demanding an end to the current Iranian regime. 

 Middle East Matters are coordinating a global rally on Saturday Dec. 17. Show the Iranian people we have not forgotten them by joining a local protest or starting your own.

4. Write to your political representatives asking them to support Iranian women’s rights publicly.

It is up to us to support Iran’s people in their current fight against the regime’s human rights violations. One measure you can take is to write to your member of Parliament or Congress to show that this issue is important to you and to demand that your government is taking a stand as well. If more and more countries around the globe condemn Iran’s dictatorship and take decisive action, the political nature can be changed. 

 Go to your government’s official website to find more about who is your representative or member of Parliament, roll those sleeves up, and get to typing.

You can find out who your elected officials are by visiting house.gov/representatives and senate.gov. If you live in the UK, find out who your member of parliament is.

5. Donate to or support human rights organizations. 

There are plenty of organizations and clubs around the world supporting the rights of Iranian women, Kurds, and minorities oppressed by the regime. Here are some of the organizations where you can either donate to, or if budget is tight, offer your time:

  • The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) works to protect human rights in Iran by researching and documenting human rights violations across the country as well as disclosing them to the public to bring about change. 
  • The Abdorrahman Boroumand Center is a non-governmental organization that commits itself to the rights of all victims of human rights violations, and uses research, documentation, publications, and outreach to restore dignity to Iran’s population.  
  • IKWRO is a registered charity in the UK providing advice and support to Middle Eastern, North African, and Afghan women and girls. It also offers training for them to understand their rights. 
  • As a global movement, Amnesty International did not hesitate to take action and has created a petition for you to sign.  
  • Flamingo e.V. is a non-profit association in Germany, founded by 2022 Global Citizen Prize winner Anuscheh Amir-Khalili, that supports refugee women and children irrespective of their origin and residence status to start a self-determined life. 
  • HÁWAR.help is a registered non-governmental organization in Germany and Iraq, working to protect human rights for everyone, regardless of their ethnic background, gender, faith, or lifestyle through international awareness-raising and political advocacy campaigns. 

6. Follow social media accounts. 

Social media is not only a source of entertainment, but also great knowledge. You can follow accounts run by advocates and organizations who are supporting women in Iran and help amplify their messages, including Nazanin Boniadi, actor and Amnesty UK Ambassador; Masih Alinejad, activist and journalist; Abdorrahman Boroumand Center for Human Rights in Iran, a nonprofit organization; Middle East Matters, a youth-run organization; Naaz, a Kurdish singer and artist; Human Rights Watch, an organization; and Gissou Nia, Director of Atlantic Council Strategic Litigation Project.

7. Share information and posts on protests.

If you do not feel comfortable or are not able to go out onto the streets yourself, you can also use your social media to share information and posts of protests from Iran and around the world. Search social media by using the hashtags #MahsaAmini, #IranProtests, , and #ZhinaAmini.

8. Read.

To learn more about the history of women’s rights in Iran, we recommend the following books: The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi; Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi; Daughters of Smoke and Fire by Ava Homa; and Things I've Been Silent About: Memories of a Prodigal Daughter by Azar Nafisi.

9. Attend events where you learn more.

There is no better way to learn about an issue than to talk to those concerned by human rights violations. Organizations are creating panels, workshops, meet-ups, and more to give a stage to people oppressed by the Iranian government and to mobilize the public to stand up and demand change. 

 If you’re in London, attend a human rights talk show about violence against women and girls in Iran at Brunel university, or attend an event exhibiting art and music bringing attention to the revolution

10. Take action. 

As a Global Citizen, you can show solidarity by sharing a message on why you stand with the women of Iran. 

You can also join #EyesOnIran — a campaign by Iranian artists and activists throughout the diaspora to ensure international audiences and institutions keep the spotlight on Iran — by sharing their artwork and suggested social copy.

11. Keep raising your voice.

We cannot allow the atrocities happening in Iran to go unnoticed. It is imperative that we all spotlight and condemn its atrocities, which is meaningful action in itself. 

As Naza Alakija, founder of NGO Sage Foundation and senior adviser to UNICEF said: “Stand with us! Thank you for hearing us. Thank you for supporting us. Please don’t stop! So many people have lost their children, their sisters, their wives. If we can now keep this public support around the world, then something will hopefully change for the better.” 


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