Iran’s Human Rights Record Follows Downward Spiral

Shaul M. Gabbay


Officially, Iran is an Islamic Republic; in practice, the government is totalitarian in nature. Since the time a revolution swept the country in 1979 and removed the ruling monarchy, a heavy blanket of oppression and religiosity has constrained the population. Although the majority of Iranians chose to overthrow the preceding government, a monarchy, its replacement by an Islamic clergy quickly morphed into an overlord, responsible for the death of some 8,000 political opponents during their first five years in power. Freedoms long enjoyed in the Persian Empire dried up overnight, leaving an eighty-three million strong population living in a straitjacket that defies the very morality it claims to live by. Repression quickly became widespread, resulting in a loss of freedom or the ability to change governments, leave home without a head covering (hijab) for women, oppose government actions or decisions, enable change and the like. Minorities suffer most and have the least ability to change their reality. Gay men and women live in utter fear, and often denial. The application of torture is well documented and increasingly brutal. The downward trajectory of human rights is increasing at a fast pace, and protests are on the rise. Some studies suggest signs that a deep and widening swath of Iranian public has had enough, and another revolution is on the horizon. Until then, however, repression continues to be the order of the day. Foreign governments and other entities of influence must hold Iran accountable for its increasingly horrific record on human rights.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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