Iranian human rights researcher sees "miracle" in Iran protests
Demonstrators carry a large photo of Mahsa Amini during a protest against the Iranian regime, in Los Angeles, on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, following the death of Amini in the custody of the Islamic republic's notorious "morality police." Chanting crowds have rallied in Berlin, Washington DC and Los Angeles in solidarity with protesters facing a violent government crackdown in Iran. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
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As the Iranian government continues to brutalize women’s rights protesters at home and continues to ignore international condemnation abroad, an Iranian human rights researcher has compared the Islamic regime to a religious terrorist group.

The Black Wall Street Times spoke with an Iranian researcher who runs Iran Prison Atlas. Based in Berlin, Germany, 34-year-old Amin Riahi has spent the last seven years tracking uprisings, crackdowns, and political prisoners in Iran. The group uses the data to inform governments and organizations around the globe.

“The international community should understand the Iranian regime as a religious organization, not as a government, not as a State,” Iran Prison Atlas Manager Amin Riahi told The Black Wall Street Times via zoom.

“It doesn’t work as a state. It works as a religious, ideological organization with guns, ready to violate everything.”

A man gestures as people attend a protest against the Iranian regime, in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, following the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the Islamic republic’s notorious “morality police”. The 22-year-old died in Iran while in police custody on Sept. 16 after her arrest three days prior for allegedly violating its strictly-enforced dress code. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
A man gestures as people attend a protest against the Iranian regime, in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, following the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the Islamic republic’s notorious “morality police”. The 22-year-old died in Iran while in police custody on Sept. 16 after her arrest three days prior for allegedly violating its strictly-enforced dress code. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Iranian human rights researcher describes “miracle” amid protests

Iran Prison Atlas is a research group that uses data to integrate human rights and technology across the Iranian diaspora. The group is part of United for Iran (U4I) a U.S.-based human rights non governmental organization (NGO).

Three months after Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died while in custody of the infamous “morality” police, protesters have defied threats of detainment and execution as they demand equal rights for women and for longtime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to step down from power.

Another U.S.-based rights monitor, HRANA, has recorded at least 451 deaths of protesters, including 63 minors, the Associated Press Reported. Meanwhile, Khamenei responded to the bloody crackdown on his own people by encouraging his security officers to continue killing unapologetically. 

??Iran Prison Atlas tracks political prisoners, such as a doctor who was recently accused of killing a “basij”, a plain-clothes security officer. Despite witnesses saying the doctor and his wife were trying to prevent protesters from attacking the basij, he’s since been convicted and faces a potential execution.

Despite the risk, protesters from across all parts of the country have continued to rise up against the regime.

“The miracle in this uprising is that 40 years of propaganda against different parts of the Iranian society has come to an end. There is a unity in the uprising. Different cities, people, religions, women, men. All of them are there,” Amin told The Black Wall Street Times.

Is Iran an apartheid system?

Much of the crackdowns and deaths have occurred in marginalized regions of Iran, such as Kurdistan and Balochistan, both home to ethnic and religious minorities. Iranian Kurds have for decades been ostracized by the government as Kurdish fighters in Iraq continue to call for an independent Kurdistan. Notably, it was also Kurdish fighters who were instrumental in overpowering terrorist group ISIS in the Middle East through a partnership with the U.S.

Meanwhile, the Iranian regime has heavily targeted Kurdish and Balochi regions of the country in an attempt to divide protesters and blame minorities for the unrest.

“Because in an apartheid system the regime needs to separate people based on social identities. They do this to be able to distribute resources in a disproportionate way,” Riahi said.

According to Riahi, while Kurdish Iranians make up roughly 10 percent of the population, they account for nearly 25 % of political executions.

In past crackdowns over the years, Iran has pitted some groups against others to dilute the strength of protests, but since the death of Mahsa Amini, those tactics have failed.

“Everytime there is a big protest, the regime kills people in marginalized parts of the country. Border provinces. And sends messages of fear to the center parts of the country that have more power,” Riahi said.

But this time it didn’t work.

Iranians united against fascist regime

For perhaps the first time since the 1979 revolution brought hardline religious clerics to power in Iran, men, women and children across ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds have come together to demand equal rights and regime change.

“People are tired of being discriminated against based on some bullshit. The logic of the system doesn’t work. People don’t care about religious arguments anymore. People do not believe Ayatollah is representative of God,” Riahi told The Black Wall Street Times.

Highlighting the unprecedented level of opposition, the Supreme Leader’s niece has been jailed after calling on world governments to cut ties with the Islamic Republic.

“I ask the conscientious people of the world to stand by us and ask their governments not to react with empty words and slogans but with real action and stop any dealings with this regime,” longtime activist Farideh Moradkhani said in a video posted to social media after her Nov. 23 arrest.

“They are bound to get beaten”

Last week, the United Nations announced it would undergo a fact-finding mission into the deaths of protesters in Iran, to which the regime replied it would not cooperate.

As far as human rights research Amin Riahi is concerned, messages and investigations from the United Nations won’t have an effect on a regime that is willing to kill its own children to maintain power.

“We can beat the regime if the international community stops recognizing the regime as a legitimate state,” he said.

Riahi wants the international community to recognize that protesters are calling for respect, women’s rights and equal democracy. 

“The regime relies on pure violence. There is no legitimation, no arguments. That’s why I think they are bound to get beaten, and they should say hello to the end.”

Deon Osborne was born in Minneapolis, MN and raised in Lawton, OK before moving to Norman where he attended the University of Oklahoma. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Media and has...

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