WEF panel says Tehran should be punished for violating women’s rights

DAVOS: The international community must exert maximum pressure on the Iranian regime to end the country’s violent crackdown on protesters, the executive director of Human Rights Watch said during a panel in Davos.
“At this particular moment, the international community must put as much pressure on the Iranian regime as possible – the message that violence will not be tolerated must be conveyed,” Tirana Hassan told the World Economic Forum on Tuesday.
During a debate on women’s rights in Iran, Hassan called on world governments to commit to targeted sanctions against the Iranian regime to ensure “consistency in pressure”.
He added: “Right now it’s a matter of long-term political endurance.”

Tirana Hassan, acting executive director of Human Rights Watch (Photo, WEF/Manuel Lopez).

Iranian-American journalist, writer and women’s rights activist Masih Alinejad told the panel: “Almost four months have passed, but none of the European countries that claim to care about women’s rights, equality and dignity have sanctioned Ali Khamenei.”
Iran’s Supreme Leader not only “orders the massacre and killing of Iranian teenagers”, but also “sends Putin drones to kill innocent Ukrainians”, he called on the G7 leaders to “recall their ambassadors and expel Iranian diplomats”.

Masih Alinejad, journalist and activist at the US Global Media Agency (Photo, FEM /Manuel Lopez).

Hasan said: “We saw in the reaction to Ukraine, for example, what can happen and what can be achieved by standing against the strongest regimes if the international community joins hands.
Iranians “expect the same solidarity, the same action and the same unity from international actors,” he added.
The executive director said that one of the main challenges HRW faces in its work on Iran is that “there is very little accurate information on the death toll.
“We cannot verify all this information,” he said, suggesting that local journalists in Iran “have the authority to report from the field.”
In order to “relieve heavy pressure” in the short term, Hassan said, the international community could help by “providing some remittances so that we can go to the country and support the protesters.”
“These small changes can be very powerful,” advises Hasan.
Iranian-born British actress and activist Nazanin Boniadi told the panel: “If you look at the history from Argentina, Chile, the Philippines, when women are at the center of a movement, it’s more likely to succeed and promote democracy. .”
That’s because women “have access to power in society that men, frankly, don’t,” she said.
“We have the ability to tell our sons and everyone in the community that this is not acceptable and that it is contagious. Courage is contagious,” said Boniadi.
The actress said, “For every person killed, a thousand more people increase.
“This is not only a political issue, there is a big economic component here. The Iranian diaspora, numbering in the millions, is worth about $2.5 trillion (US$1 = €0.93).

Nazanin Boniadi, human rights defender (Photo, FEM/Manuel Lopez).

Hassan warned that the Iranian regime would “continue to respond to resistance with increasing violence,” adding that the authorities had already “talked about using pellet guns.”
“They are called non-lethal weapons, but these small pellets stick in the eyes of many protesters and will blind people,” he said, calling on the international community to hold the regime accountable in the long term.
This text is a translation of an article published on Arabnews.com

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