Dear Council Colleagues,
In accordance with the statement of solidarity
with librarians, teachers, and others in the woman-led uprising in Iran for human rights issued by ALA on December 9, 2022, I will bring before the Council the resolution on Human Rights and Freedom of Speech and Expression in Iran (attached). This resolution echoes the voice and demands of many Iranian-American librarians and information professionals as well as other colleagues who have reached out to me since the beginning of this movement. I have provided additional contextual information below.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
The current women-led uprising started in September 2022 following the death of Mahsa Amini (a 22-year-old woman) while in custody of the Morality Police for allegedly not wearing the proper hijab (headscarf). Over the course of the past 5 months, the Islamic Republic of Iran has waged an information war against the protesters, including shutting down and slowing down the internet (complete blackout during the first several days of protests), filtering social media and communication platforms and apps (including Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter, Clubhouse, etc.), tasking their cyber-army with spreading dis- and misinformation to mislead and defuse the protests, hacking into protester accounts or wire-tapping their devices, etc.
Several librarians, teachers, and writers who participated in the peaceful protests for human rights and freedom of speech and expression were arrested and some were fired from their jobs.
The numbers are troubling:
- more than 19 thousand peaceful protestors arrested,
- more than 500 peaceful protesters killed,
- at least 70 children/teens killed in protests by the security forces,
- hundreds of peaceful protesters shot in the eyes or genitals –including pro archer Kosar Khoshnoudikia,
- 8 protesters hanged and a hundred more on death row without due process and based on confessions obtained under torture.
Many local, national, and international organizations have stood in solidarity with the people of Iran and responded to these atrocities in various ways. Most notably, the US Department of State extended internet access to the people of Iran to freely access information, the Islamic Republic of Iran was removed from the United Nations Council on the Status of Women, and the UN has formed a fact-finding committee to investigate these violations of human rights.
Adult Librarian III, Los Angeles Public Library
Councilor-at-Large, American Library Association
Mar Vista Branch Library
12006 Venice Blvd
Los Angeles, CA email@example.com