For days now, Iran’s streets have been turbulent: a turbulence born of civil struggles for freedom and resistance to the injustice and tyranny of the Islamic Republic. This resistance – a lesson in freedom for all the world’s peoples – is a matter of life or death for the people who have felt the injustice and tyranny of the Islamic Republic’s totalitarian dictatorship in their skin, flesh, blood, and bones.
It is clear that a considerable number of the people present in Iran’s streets, now rising against darkness and tyranny, are members of the LGBT+ community: a group that has long been one of the most harmed by the Islamic Republic and its violent, discriminatory laws, from flogging and execution for non-cishet relations to the promotion and legitimation of violence and discrimination against all its members, across all parts of Iranian society.
The injustice is bound to be defeated. That which shall remain is the bravery and free-spiritedness of the people in rising against and resisting it. The rising of the Iranian people, including members of the LGBT+ community, to root out injustice is a shining example of this principle. Alongside all Iranians, members of Iran’s LGBT+ community, despite years and years of repression and killing, have stood like cedars against injustice, all their branches rustling with courage, resistance, and freedom for the whole world to hear.
The time has now come for people all over the world, especially world leaders – if they really do believe in principles of freedom, equality, democracy, and the Universal Declaration of Human rights – to not pass by this resistance indifferently, and to stand beside the people of Iran. US President Joe Biden, in his recent address to the United Nationals, spoke of the United States’ support for the rights of women and the LGBTQ+ community. It must be recalled that he is engaged in negotiations with a government is based on gender apartheid and the comprehensive bigotry against the members of the LGBT+ community. French President Emmanuel Macron, if really committed to the principles of free speech and equality, must consider the consistency of his beliefs and actions before shaking hands and meeting with a president of Iran who has openly attacked gay, lesbian, and bisexual people in his public speeches.
To all world leaders who think of themselves as committed to human rights – from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Republic of France, the German Federal Republic to the Commonwealth of Canada and the United States of America – we members of Iran’s LGBT+ community and gender equality activists say resolutely, and in no uncertain terms: now that ordinary Iranian people, with all their differences, have united and are standing shoulder to shoulder against the injustice, darkness, ignorance, and tyranny of the Islamic Republic, a solemn duty weighs upon you not to sit at a negotiation table with the leaders of this dictatorial, authoritarian regime.
In such conditions, any sort of agreement or deal with such a government would mean approval of the massacre of millions of people, especially members of the LGBT+ community, and mark a bloody page in the history of your countries’ international relations.
List of signatories:
Arman Nik Ahang
Bahareh Monshi Roodesari
Moloud Haji Zadeh
Yavar Baradaran Khosroshahi
Zahra Bagheri Shad