Monday , 26 February 2024

The cycle of violence

The ongoing nationwide protests in Iran, sparked by the death of a 22-year old Mahsa Jina Amini while in the custody of the morality police, will soon be entering its third month and there are no signs of consensus between the government and the people. In fact the people and the Iranian regime seem to be further away from one another than ever before.

Just recently Iran’s parliament voted by a majority (227 out of 290 total members) in favor of imposing the death penalty on all protesters currently in custody. The first death sentence was just recently issued to an unnamed protester by the Revolutionary Court. This action would, according to the authorities, be a hard lesson and a warning for the rebels to learn. Since the anti-government demonstrations started in September more than 300 protesters have been killed in violent crackdowns by security forces and as many as 15000 protesters have been imprisoned. The message that the parliament wishes to convey to the protesters will most likely backfire, instead, the lack of support and confidence that the people have towards their elected officials will be clarified.

Iranian MPs wearing IRGC’s uniforms in support of them is an image that has recirculated in social media to portray the vast distance between the people and its parliament.

The authorities have been blaming the protesters of carrying out terrorists actions and of spreading a cycle of violence since the start of the uprising. They have even gone so far as to citing the non violence approach of leaders like Mandela and Gandhi in an attempt of discrediting the protesters defense against armed security guards while they themselves are killing unarmed protesters and arresting people who now face the death penalty without trial. The authorities strategy of glorifying both Gandhi’s and Mandela’s view on non-violence while acting in direct opposite to such principles and without mentioning their (Gandhi- and Mandela’s) views on armed struggle in the face of an oppressor is another way of manipulating people and spreading propaganda. The regime’s own use of violence is justified by stating that they are defending the country against terrorism and foreign countries’ influence on young people.

The reality of the people demonstrating in the streets and that of the officials working in parliament have very few things in common and the legitimacy of the current leadership has vanished completely, this is evident by the increasing use of violence and brutal repression against those raising their voices in the name of freedom.