Human rights groups say over 14,000 people have been arrested across Iran since protests began in September following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. At least 400 people have reportedly been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, and multiple people have been executed. The protests are “the longest sustained protests since the start of the revolution,” says Sussan Tahmasebi, a women’s rights activist and feminist from Iran joining us from Brussels, Belgium, who says women and youth are sick of the status quo and are seeking fundamental freedoms. “Iranians voted multiple times for over two decades for some process of reform … but the state has not given in to those demands,” she says. “What we’re seeing now is the result.” Tahmasebi is the director of FEMENA, an organization that promotes gender equality and supports women human rights defenders, and co-founder of the Iran Civil Society Training and Research Center, as well as the One Million Signatures Campaign, a grassroots effort working to end gender-biased laws in Iran.
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