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A growing number of figures from the film and TV industry in the U.K. have signed a letter urging British politicians to support the people of Iran as the country faces global condemnation for executing several of those involved in the wave of protests that erupted last year.
The letter, instigated by British-Iranian filmmaker Babak Anvari, calls for members of U.K. parliament to actively campaign for Iran to stop violence against protesters and end all executions, to hold Iran accountable for the “gross violations of human rights and women’s rights,” and to demand that Iran releases all political prisoners.
Among the almost 100 names to have signed the letter, which is still circulating and gathering attention, are Olivia Colman, Martin McDonagh, Jessie Buckley, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Brett Goldstein, Jonathan Pryce, Hugh Bonneville, Richard Curtis, Gillian Anderson, Felicity Jones, George Mackay, Edgar Wright and Hayley Atwell.
The letter is the latest reaction from the international creative community against the Iranian government’s brutal crackdown on widespread demonstrations around the country that called for basic rights — most prominently women’s rights — and were sparked when 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in custody Sept. 16 after being arrested by the morality police for allegedly breaching the strict dress code for women. According to human rights groups, hundreds of protestors were killed by authorities and thousands have been arrested, while at least four have now been executed in what the U.S. state department condemned as “sham trials.”
Earlier this month, Cate Blanchett, Jason Momoa and Samuel L. Jackson were among more than 50 entertainment industry figures to take part in a video message in which they held signs featuring the hashtag #StopExecutionsInIran.
See the letter to U.K. parliament and the list of signatories below.
Dear Members of Parliament,
It has now been four months since the protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini have swept over Iran. The Iranian people are bravely resisting the draconian laws enforced upon them by the Islamic Republic regime and want an end to decades of oppression.
In response, the Iranian authorities have enacted a brutal and violent crackdown of the protests. Well over 500 people have been killed, including at least 70 children (the reported figure), and around 19,000 people have now been arrested and jailed. Many of the imprisoned protesters are being violently tortured, and kangaroo courts are hastily putting many on death row – a number of these prisoners have tragically been executed over the last month. Only a few days ago Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini were executed despite global calls to quash their death sentences — in the case of Karami, he was not even allowed to meet his family for the last time.
And some of the imprisoned protesters are fellow artists and creatives such as actor Hossein Mohammadi (currently on death row) and rap artist Toomaj Salehi (who is reportedly in bad physical condition due to repeated torture), to name only a few.
Enough is enough. If the global community, which the UK is an active and influential member of, does not act firmly, these atrocities will continue. We need to sincerely support the people of Iran in their fight for justice and freedom. Therefore, we, the undersigned, ask the members of the UK parliament:
. To take immediate action and urge the UK government to hold the regime in Iran accountable for their gross violations of human rights and women’s rights.
. To actively campaign to stop the violence used against the protesters in Iran, including an immediate stop to all executions.
. To demand the release of all political prisoners in Iran.
The ongoing oppression of the freedom-loving people of Iran needs to stop.
Babak Anvari, Gabriel Bisset-Smith, Jodie Whittaker, Christian Contreras, Michelle Dockery, Jack Rooke, Susan Wokoma, Nicola Coughlan, Dominic Buchanan, Matilda Feyiṣayọ Ibini, Brett Goldstein, Lucan Toh, Corin Hardy, Rachel Tunnard, Sir Jonathan Pryce, Will Hollinshead, Kat Buckle, Olivia Colman, Ed Sinclair, Tom Mison, Deborah Frances-White, Anita Asante, Vijay Mistry, Simon Rix, Juliet Stevenson, Niamh Algar, Hugh Bonneville, Dominic Cooke, Iain Glen, David Morrissey, Richard Curtis, Isobel Waller-Bridge, Gillian Anderson, Humphrey Hendrix, Livi Shean, Richard Eyre, Dominic Dromgoole, Robert Cawsey, Felicity Jones, David Farr, Lucy Tcherniak, Martin McDonagh, Jessie Buckley, George MacKay, Omid Djalili, Lucian Msamati, Joe Cole, Paapa Essiedu, Valene Kane, Varada Sethu, Alex Lawther, Yasemin Kay Allen, Noof Ousellam, Hayat Kamille, Prasanna Puwanarajah, Morven Christie, Louise Brealey, Wilf Scolding, Esh Alladi, Souad Faress, Jamie Bamber, Faye Marsay, Nazanin Boniadi, Emily Leo, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Serena Manteghi, Nadia Fall, Joplin Sibtain, Silvie Furneaux, Hayley Atwell, Edgar Wright, MyAnna Buring, Claire Wilson, Adam Townley, Lydia Wilson, Kosar Ali, Joseph Mawle, Percelle Ascott, Mecia Simson, Heather Agyepong, Stevie Grace Jackson, Oliver Lansley, Rupert Stonehill, Jessica Sykes, Mat Whitecross, Josh Dylan, Anya Chalotra, Andy Serkis, David Arnold, Sarah Solemani, Paul Andrew Williams, Kharmel Cochrane, Gonzalo Maza, Cyrus Massoudi, Barnaby Spurrier, Coky Giedroyc
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