The Grow North Creative Residency is an initiative by North York Arts to “pass the mic” to artists in our community. Local artists living in North York are given the opportunity to share information, teachings, and their artistic practice with our audience, and engage with the North York Arts community in meaningful ways.
Since the beginning of the protests in Iran in September 2022, more than 500 protesters have been killed and more than 10,000 protesters have been arrested. Yet the protesters are still fighting for freedom, whether on the streets all over Iran or by various acts of civil disobedience.
In an attempt to get the protests under control and inspire fear, the Islamic Republic has charged many innocent protesters with “Moharebeh” which translates to “Waging war against God”. A crime that is punishable by death in Iran.
At least 4 protesters (Mohesen Shekari (23), Majidreza Rahnavard (23), Mohammad Mehdi Karami (22) and Mohammad Hosseini (39)) have been executed after giving false confessions under extreme physical and psychological pressure. At least another 41 protesters have received death sentences and are at risk of execution.
False confessions in Iran are a widely reported phenomenon, especially amongst the political prisoners. These confessions are often used as evidence in sham trials, resulting in expedited convictions.
Physical and psychological torture, as well as threats against the prisoner and their family or loved ones are among the methods wherein these false confessions are extracted. It’s also important to note that Iran’s legal system lacks many of the protections and due process that are guaranteed in democratic countries.
Due to the limitations on the Internet in Iran and lack of freedom of speech, Iranians in diaspora have started an online campaign to raise awareness on the executions in Iran, and get the support of the international community in hopes of getting the death sentences overturned.
If you would like to join the campaign:
- Grab a pen and paper and write #StopExecutionsinIran
- Take a photo of or with the sign
- Post it. Hashtag it!
Or simply share a post or protest art and use the hashtag #StopExecutionsinIran
You might think posting on social media and hashtags don’t help in any way. For better or worse, we live in an extremely online world where trending hashtags and social media campaigns have an incredible effect in raising awareness on a topic and in turn will have news media reporting more on the said topic.
This is how Iranians in Iran and all over the world brought attention to the death of #MahsaAmini and the #WomanLifeFreedom movement, by using the hashtags to educate, shed a light on what was happening in real-time and demand attention from the international community.
By getting the hashtags trending, we got the attention of the news media, brands, politicians, celebrities and people around the world which started a larger conversation regarding policies against the Islamic Republic and limiting their power to suppress their own people.
This is what we are hoping to achieve with the #StopExecutionsinIran and we hope that you will join us in raising your voice and supporting the people who are so bravely fighting for freedom.