United States and Canada express support for Iranian protesters

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Canadian counterpart on Thursday (10/17) voiced their support for demonstrators in Iran who took to the streets to protest the death of a young woman who died in police custody. The woman, Mahsa Amini, was arrested for wearing her headscarf “incorrectly”.

Blinken said Thursday in Ottawa that he and Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly had exchanged views on the issue.

“We are working together to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its cruel crackdown on these brave young women who continue to take to the streets to demand their rights, more than 40 days now after the death of Mahsa Amini,” Blinken said.

Joly said at a joint press conference, “Canada salutes all Iranians who fight against tyranny, and we stand with the women and girls who bravely oppose the regime.

The message is simple: women’s rights are human rights. We have a moral obligation to support the courageous women of Iran and to hold their persecutors accountable.”

Blinken also said she fully supports statements by Joly and 11 other female foreign ministers released earlier this week about Iran’s repressive regime.

The statement read, among other things, “We, as female foreign ministers, stand united in solidarity with the courageous Iranian women who exercise their right to peaceful assembly and uphold their human rights. We recognize that Iranian women are also fighting for a better future for all Iranians and we have a moral obligation to support them. We strongly support the important work of human rights defenders, especially women human rights defenders, to ensure that people everywhere are free to exercise and enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms. [uh/ab]

Robert Butler

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