On November 30th, 2022, the Graduate Labour Union presented a letter of support and solidarity with the Iranian Graduate Students’ Association at the University of Calgary, and the ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ movement in Iran.
Today, January 31st, 2024, we reaffirm our solidarity and support for Iranian Graduate students at the University of Calgary. We stand with those suffering in silence as their friends and family are subjected to incarceration, oppression, and death for the freedoms and rights that Canadians take for granted.
We recognize the tragic deaths of Mahsa Amini, Nika Shahkarami, Neda Agha-Soltan, and the victims of Flight 752, which sparked the ‘Women, Life, Freedom’ movement. We also recognize all who have been arrested, tortured, raped, and killed in violent crackdowns against the mainly student-led protests in Iran over the past two years. This list of tragic and gross injustices grows daily. More than 14,802 people have been arrested during these protests, with some now facing imminent execution.
On October 31st, 2023, 9 protesters stood trial with no legal counsel, and were sentenced to death. One member of this group, twenty-three-year-old Mohammad Ghobadlou was executed on January 22nd, 2024. We firmly stand against these human rights violations and recognize those who have received similar sentences: Mohsen Rezazadeh, Saman Seydi, Mohammad Boroghani, Saeed Shirazi, Abolfazl Mehri Hossein, Abbas Daris, Manouchehr Mehman Navaz, Soheil Khoshdel, Reza Rasaei, Pejman Fatehi, Mohammad Faramarzi, Vafa Azarbar, and Mohsen Mazloum.
We encourage all those who are able, to support Iranian students in any ways possible. Amplify their voice. Learn about this ongoing struggle (links below), share informed, supportive content over social media, and talk to your family and friends. Help us bring attention to the ongoing violent crackdown against protesters currently taking place in Iran, and please support the ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ movement.
We would also like to express our support of all international students experiencing fear, concern, and anxiety regarding the safety and well-being of their loved ones back home. While we face a time of societal uncertainty and economic hardship as Graduate Students here in Canada, it is important to recognize the plight of our contemporaries in areas of the world experiencing all forms of persecution.
In Solidarity, Your Graduate Labour Union