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The Hypocrisy in Addressing Iran’s Victims

The Hypocrisy in Addressing Iran’s Victims

Tuesday, 20 September, 2022 - 10:30

The young Iranian woman Mahsa Amini died under torture at the hands of Tehran police. The punishment that led to her death was not for murder, terrorism, or espionage. This little 22-year-old girl went from Kurdistan with her family to visit relatives in Tehran, and her crime was that she had not been wearing her veil in accordance with the criteria set by the theocratic government. The “morality” police arrested her while she had been with her parents and escorted her to the police station to be taught about religion and how to wear the state-mandated hijab, but she ended up in a coma and then passed away.

Iran’s human rights record is unlike that of any other country in the world. Violations are leaked and shared on various social media sites- prisoners’ cries for help, amputations, burn marks, rapes, and other forms of torture. Despite all of this cruelty, the international community stands idly by. Not only has it failed to save the victims, but it also overlooks the crimes, feeling enough has been done with cold condemnations. Days go by, and we see the same things happen again.

Distressingly, the Iranian government has gone to new lengths in its efforts to restrict women’s freedom, using highly sensitive technology to identify the women who do not wear the state-mandated hijab. An official from a committee for the Promotion of Virtue in Tehran even recently bragged about it.

Like many others, I was following the news about the victim and the series of events and global reactions (nothing worth mentioning was said or done by international powers) that followed. Amnesty International reiterated its plea to the Iranian government to allow the organization to inspect the prisons in Evin, and the government refused. Through National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan, the White House called her death “unforgivable.”

Thank you for clearing that up, but these words mean nothing to the Iranian regime, whose representatives are now sitting across those sent by Washington at the negotiating table in Geneva. The frailty of the international system has allowed the clerical regime in Iran to stand strong. Even with all the scandalous crimes that this monstrous regime has committed: assassinations, money laundering, drug trafficking, and human rights violations in its notorious internal prisons, it always survives in the end.

I contemplate and think. What if Mahsa Amini had been the name of a girl from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, or anywhere else in the world; what sort of reaction would we have seen from democratic governments or UN bodies and INGOs tasked with promoting human rights? If she had been a girl from Riyadh tortured to death at a local police station by investigators from the “morality” police, and her story and pictures had been spread all over the place, how much attention would this affair have been given in the Western media in particular? How many reports would have been issued? How many articles would have been written? How many measures would governments have taken? How much political money would have been spent to emphasize the incident and keep it in the news cycle for as long as possible?

The Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, who had approved the technology used to monitor compliance with the state-mandated hijab, went out and said that an investigation would look into the events that led to the young woman’s death. Let us wait and see. Will there be an investigation in which the victim’s lawyers are allowed to take part alongside representatives of international organizations? Or will it end up being conducted purely for show in the best of cases?

We now understand that human rights are politicized. The issue has been sullied by the dirty money of organizations working to push a particular agenda that has nothing to do with ensuring that people are treated humanely. The hypocrisy is clear for all to see. Indeed, the Tehran regime’s horrific crimes are met with smiles and good wishes by journalists, columnists, and talking heads working for the world’s most renowned news outlets.

Meanwhile, these same journalists and commentators seize every glimmer of an opportunity to follow any incident that unfolds in a different country, highlighting without paying any mind to professional ethics or objectivity, which tells us just how dangerously low their ethics and morals have sunk.

That is why the regime in Tehran is not weighed down by statements about or condemnations of its actions. It knows that they are just empty words and that it is their interests, not ethics, that shape relations between states. The regime is comfortable in the knowledge that while the murdered young woman’s photos were spreading in the media, leaving the people of Iran horrified and furious, Iran was negotiating a deal with the West that would free its blood-stained hand to continue terrorizing and horrifying the world and reward it with billions of dollars it can use to expand its evil empire.

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