Pirate Party Australia Supports “Woman, Life, Freedom” Movement in Iran and Condemns the Ongoing Human Rights Abuses of the Islamic Republic of Iran

The Pirate Party, a political party in Australia that champions freedom of information and culture; civil and digital liberties; privacy and anonymity; government transparency; and participatory democracy, stands in solidarity with the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement in Iran, which has gained momentum following the tragic death of 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian Mahsa (Jina) Amini in morality police custody over an alleged hijab violation[1]. The Party strongly condemns the oppressive measures faced by Iranian school girls, including discriminatory dress codes, restrictions on access to education and opportunities, and the recent poisonings in cities across the country[2].

“The ongoing oppression of Iranian women, particularly young school girls, is a gross violation of their fundamental human rights,” says Miles Whiticker, President of Pirate Party Australia. “We support the ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ movement in their fight for gender equality, human rights, democracy, and the right to live free from discrimination and persecution.”

Pirate Party Australia recognises the right to self-determination and notes that the Senate Inquiry’s report suggests the “unanimous view” of Iranians and Iranian Australians who have engaged with the inquiry is that the “regime will not listen to its people and will not reform.” The report states that Iranians from all walks of life remain steadfast in their call for political change, and they do so in full knowledge of the existential threat that challenging the authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran represents [3].

Pirate Party Australia echoes the the Senate Committee’s deep concern about “credible allegations of intimidation and threats against Australian citizens, residents and their families.” The inquiry’s final report called on the government to “minimise relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran to the greatest extent possible in recognition of the appalling behaviour of the regime” and that “any Iranian officials in Australia considered to be involved in intimidation, threats, or monitoring of Australians be expelled.” The Senate inquiry also recommends listing Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group and implementing further Magnitsky sanctions [3]. Such actions would be supported by Pirate Party Australia.

Pirate Party Australia calls on the international community, specifically organisations such as UN Women, to take notice of the plight of Iranian women and girls and to support efforts to promote gender equality and human rights in Iran.

Pirate Party Australia also calls on the Australian government to take immediate action in support of Iranian women and girls, particularly those fleeing persecution. We urge the government to increase the allocation of humanitarian visas and expedite the processing of asylum applications for women and girls escaping discrimination, violence, and other forms of persecution in Iran.

We in the Global North are not without our abuses or hypocrisies; Australia has a long history of mistreatment of its First Nations people, for example. But our own transgressions should not prevent us from seeing problems in the world, though we should certainly be humble and circumspect along the way.

The Pirate Party endorse the freedom of religion and respects individual’s rights to hold their own beliefs. However, we firmly advocate for the separation of church and state to ensure that religious beliefs do not unduly influence government decisions. It is important to recognise that adherents of any faith can contribute positively to society, as long as the principles of secularism and pluralism are upheld within government institutions. By prioritising these values, we can foster a more inclusive and equitable society where all citizens have the opportunity to thrive regardless of their religious affiliations.

[1] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-09-23/what-happened-to-mahsa-mini-iran-protests-death-iranian-women/101467612, accessed 21/03/23
[2] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-05-12/third-afghan-girls-school-hit-by-mass-poisoning/1680592, accessed 21/03/23
[3] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-02-01/senate-inquiry-iran-human-rights-abuses-report-irgc-terrorists/101917152, accessed 24/03/23