By controlling access to the elections on the part of potential candidates and the way in which elections are run, the Guardian Council and the supreme leader control both present and future power in Iran.
At least 7,000 people have also been arrested, according to one parliamentarian. Those detained since the protests began include journalists and human rights defenders. The undersigned organizations are seriously concerned about the fate and whereabouts of the detainees, many of whom have been subjected to enforced disappearance or have otherwise been arbitrarily detained and denied access to their families and lawyers of their own choosing.
Sahar Khodayari became known as the blue girl for painting her face blue to support her favorite Iranian football team. When she was told she may face a prison sentence from six months to two years for daring to attend a soccer game, she set herself on fire.
The work Arseh Sevom did in 2016 and 2017 was read, viewed, shared, and downloaded over one million times. This surprised us! It shows that the will to be more democratic is not limited to a small, engaged minority. There is an energy for democratic change shining through the cracks. The desire to engage and be heard is broad and deep.
People in Iran keep surprising us with their creative efforts for change. They keep standing up and shaking things up – even in the face of overwhelming punishment. Women stand up for their rights even when faced with outrageous punishments. Teachers demand dignity and fair pay. Conservationists stand up to the degradation of the environment.