November 10, 2022

Content warning: violence, police brutality, and trauma

The Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) wholeheartedly acknowledges that Simon Fraser University (SFU) is a colonial institution situated on the stolen and unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), and Katzie Nations.

On September 13, 2022, a 22-year old woman named Mahsa Amini was arrested by the Iranian government’s “morality police” for not wearing her hijab tight enough during her visit to the country’s capital, Tehran. Soon after her arrest, she fell into a coma in which the government claimed it was due to her “previous health issues”, a claim in which her family strongly denied as the reports said she was “severely beaten” by Iranian authorities during her detention.She passed away 3 days later at a hospital.

Protests erupted after her death, with many protesters being arrested, charged, or killed in an unreasonable response by the Iranian government. The government has also shut down the internet across the country, resulting in millions of people unable to contact in and out of the country. It is not the first time that the government has shut down the internet in an attempt to quell public dissent, at which the last time it has occurred is during the Bloody November that has occurred in 2019.

There were also reports of police trapping students inside campus and attacking students across Iraninan Universities and schools on September 30.2022, for protesting against the government’s harsh crack-down against protesters last Friday, much to the public’s dismay and anger.

In light of this, the SFSS formally condemns the actions of the Iranian regime, who have repetitively silenced the voice of its people, especially women, in every aspect of their social culture. We recognize that every individual has the right to free choice in body autonomy,, and we need to recognize that women’s rights in Iran are human rights. As a student society, it’s our responsibility to:

  • Stand against all forms of violence whenever, and wherever they occur
  • Answer the call to action from the Iranian Community in SFU
  • Ensure the amplification of the Iranian students community by pushing for further student aid and other forms of accomodations
  • Recognize the disproportionate impacts of the ongoing protests to our SFU Iranian community members, and strive to push for peace and healing for the community

We wholeheartedly support the efforts brought forward by our Iranian students community, the Iranian Club, faculty, and staff members. We acknowledge that this situation is complex and stressful in more ways than one, and we stand in solidarity with all who have felt the impacts of those unjust actions by the Iranian government.

Finally, we thank all the members of the Iranian community and advocates who continue to do the labour of leading the conversation to push for change not just within SFU, but also in Iran and beyond.

In Solidarity,

SFSS Executive Committee Team 2022/2023

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