Baerbock calls for recognition of women’s rights in Iran

Following the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody, Germany’s foreign minister warns: “If women are not safe, no one is safe in a society.”

Baerbock fordert Anerkennung von Frauenrechten im Iran
picture alliance/dpa

New York/Tehran (dpa)- Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has called on the Iranian government to recognise women’s rights as human rights following the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody. “The women who are now taking to the streets in Iran are demanding the freedom to express themselves – and to be able to do so without having to fear for their lives,” the minister told the German Press Agency on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. Baerbock added: “They must be heard. Because these women are demanding rights that all human beings are entitled to – nothing other than their immutable human rights.”

“This message must finally reach all those responsible,” the German foreign minister said, addressing the government in Tehran. She added that she is asked again and again what feminist foreign policy means and why it is important. “The death of Mahsa Amini illustrates this in a terribly tragic way: If women are not safe, no one is safe in a society.”

In the Iranian capital Tehran alone, thousands of people had gathered on Monday night to denounce Amini’s death and demand an investigation. Security forces arrested numerous demonstrators, reported the Iranian news agencies Isna and Fars. On Tuesday evening, people again poured into the streets. Demonstrations also took place in European cities such as Berlin.

The young woman had been arrested on Tuesday last week by the morality police because of her “un-Islamic outfit”. What exactly happened afterwards is unclear. Amini fell into a coma and died in hospital on Friday. According to the police, the young woman had heart problems and had fainted at the police station.