Iran: How the “Woman, Life, Freedom” Movement Has Changed Documenting Human Rights Violations

September 1, 2023

It has been almost a year since the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement started in Iran with unprecedented nationwide demonstrations over the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the Islamic Republic’s morality police. The movement elevated the world’s interest in the situation of human rights in Iran, not only reaching governments and human rights organizations but also engaging public opinion around the world. As the audiences for human rights reports broadened, the language and stories began to change, moving away from legal jargon and focusing on the realities of life under the rule of the Islamic Republic. As a result, the human rights record of the Islamic Republic is no longer discussed just at the United Nations or in closed-door meetings attended by government officials of democratic countries. It is now on social media, which has become the most important platform for reporting on human rights violations in Iran. Additionally, as the government has banned the activities of human rights watchdogs inside the country, the documentation of human rights violations is now being carried out by voluntary activities of independent individuals.

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