Since the end of last year, thousands upon thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets to protest against the many issues that they are faced with.
The protests initially started out as general protests about concerns that are an issue for most of the people. For example, at the start of the protests the regime’s handling of the country and the dire economic situation were focused on. But as time went on, the people began to focus on more specific issues. For instance, farmers, factory workers, truckers, teachers, students and shopkeepers all highlighted the very specific problems that they are faced with.
Ethnic and religious minorities have also stepped up to highlight the unfair treatment and discrimination they have endured for years.
The signatories of the letter are: Mostafa Ahmadian, Maziar Tatiaei, Mosleh Ghorbani, Behrouz Nalbandi, Saleh Nikbakht, Keyvan Azizi, Sajjad Khosravi, Ayat Abbas, Esfandiar Abnoos, Osman Mozayen, Ehsan Hassanpour, Esmaeil Rahimi, Ali Sakeni, Amir Ahmadi, Esmaeil Salaripour, Arash Fattahi Boukani, Massoud Shamsnejad, Arash Rajabi Kermanshahi, Behrouz Vafadar, Shalir Fotoohi-Sara, Asrin Khaledi, Heydar Khodamoradi, Farman Jafari, Amir Salar Davoudi, Behzad Hakimizadeh, Arash Kamangar, Abdollatif Valadbeigi, Abdolbaset Pourzadi, Hassan Ranjbar, Halimeh Khezri, Keyvan Mamepour, Massoud Javadieh, Mohammad Mogheimi, Narmin Hosseinikhah, Shatav Mobtadi, Sadegh Saed Mouchesh, Fouad Motevasel, Koroush Heydari, and Kaveh Alizadeh.
The lawyers noted that the judicial authorities have been very harsh with the protesters and have handed out major prison sentences to protesters. They also highlighted that there have been a large number of arrests and they called on the regime to make sure that it stops reacting and retaliating against the people that are doing nothing more than exercising their right to protest.
The letter also highlighted that tolerance on both sides is declining. The people will no longer remain passive to the regime’s corruption, belligerence and neglect and the regime will not tolerate domestic dissent.
“The right for civil protest and assembly is rooted in the right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly which have been asserted in the constitution and numerous international conventions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
The lawyers said that the protesters’ rights much be protected and respected and said that the authorities must stop using violence to engage with the people. They applaud all of the people that have risen up and called for democracy and said that these social movements and civil protests are precursors to great change in the country.
They also reminded the people taking to the streets to ensure that the protests remain peaceful and they expressed their solidarity with the people and social groups that are protesting. “We declare our solidarity and support for protesting social groups, and call on them to avoid violent methods.”