Iranian protesters descend on Westminster ahead of World Cup game

Iranian protesters descend on Westminster ahead of World Cup game

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rotests against human rights abuses in Iran and Qatar had been held in central London on Saturday ahead of the World Cup.

A gaggle of 22 Iranian ladies performed football in Westminster in a protest against their country’s regime.

The ladies wore football kits, in addition to t-shirts with the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom”.

They laughed and cheered as they kicked the ball between each other on College Green.

Some dribbled whereas carrying the Iranian flag whereas others blew whistles and chanted “Mahsa Amini”, in tribute to the girl who died in custody after she was detained for allegedly failing to comply with the country’s Islamic costume code.

Speaking to the PA news company at the protest, lawyer Leila Mansouri said there was a “gender apartheid” in Iran.

“We are here today in London to raise awareness about the atrocities going on just a couple of hundred miles away from Qatar, ahead of the football match between Iran and England,” she said.

“We have brought together 22 women, to represent the age of Mahsa Amini, who was killed by the morality police in Iran.

“Women can not attend men’s matches in Iran. There is a gender apartheid in Iran, as many people already know.”

She called on England’s football staff to increase consciousness of the scenario throughout their match against Iran on Monday.

“We are counting on the England team to raise awareness, even if it’s just a simple act of cutting their hair.”

The ladies then gathered around as protester Shirley Elghanian called on the general public to blow their whistles for one minute at the beginning of each of Iran’s three group stage matches.

“We would like to ask you, in solidarity with those who are on the streets in Iran, please can you blow your whistles for one minute at the start of each of (Iran’s) three matches,” she said.

She then held her hair up and minimize off a bit of it with a scissors whereas the other ladies cheered, a gesture which has grow to be a logo of the ladies’s rights motion in Iran

Later Made In Chelsea star Mark-Francis Vandelli joined the ladies at the protest in Westminster.

Mr Vandelli addressed the press, before posing for images with the ladies.

He additionally called on the general public to blow whistles for one minute before the beginning of each of Iran’s matches.

He told the PA news company: “We are all here in solidarity for the women in Iran. We ask that everybody can blow a whistle for one minute before every Iran match.”

He said he had come to present his help as a result of of the “atrocities” taking place in Iran. “The atrocities that are happening in Iran are not being spoken about widely enough,” he said.

“It’s very, very important to bring this to the public domain.”

He said there was an “infinite” number of issues individuals can do to present help.

“There is an infinite number of things people can do,” he said.

“Social media is such a powerful tool. For this very reason it should be used to do good and at least bring awareness.”

The Iranian ladies then moved on to a protest outdoors the Qatari embassy, organised by LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

The build-up to the World Cup has been dominated by criticism of Qatar over the treatment of usually migrant staff and issues about LGBT rights.

A small crowd of protesters had gathered outdoors the embassy in protest against the Qatari regime’s treatment of these teams.

Speaking outdoors the embassy, Mr Tatchell called on the general public to boycott the World Cup.

“It is really important that wherever possible we boycott the World Cup. Don’t watch it, don’t support it,” he said.

“But I understand that football fans feel very passionate, so OK, watch your games, but please use social media to amplify human rights abuses in Qatar and to support those very brave Qataris striving for democracy and human rights.”

He said that human rights campaigners in Qatar had told him that they need the protests to shine a lightweight on the country’s regime.

“I have been speaking with human rights defenders in Qatar and in exile, mostly LGBT, women and labour rights activists,” he said.

“They all say they want protests to shine a light on the tyranny of the regime, and to support their struggle for freedom.

“They want protests, because they know the power of publicity is what the Qatar regime really fears.”

Source:standard.co.uk

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