Iran’s Writers’ Association has issued a statement on Thursday, November 21, condemning “violent confrontation” with people’s right to free speech and calling on the Islamic Republic authorities to end the presence of security forces in the streets.
The statement sent to Radio Farda says, “Instead of belittling, threatening and persecuting protesters, who have no weapon except their chants” the authorities should respect their right to free speech.
Widespread protests erupted November 15 across Iran when the government overnight raised fuel prices, amid economic hardship and high inflation. The authorities imposed a near-total information and Internet blackout, but images and reports speak of attacks on protesters using combat ammunition.
According to most estimates, more than 100 people have been killed. Radio Farda’s conservative estimate puts the number at 138.
The writers also say silencing the people will only add to their anger and bring about more protests, as is the case now.
“By turning city streets into battlefields, using violence and mass arrests, as well as cutting off internet service can sweep the people’s demands under the ashes, but it certainly cannot extinguish them.