Entertainment And News

How To Help Save Two Iranian Women Facing Execution Over Their Activism

Photo: Instagram / TikTok
Zahra Seddiqi-Hamedani, Elham Choubdar

Online, activists are attempting to raise awareness about the planned executions of two women who are members of the LGBTQ community.

Amid widespread human rights protests across Iran following the death of another woman, Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman apprehended for apparently not wearing her hijab properly, the execution of these activists is an opportunity for international supporters to raise their voices to prevent more death in Iran.

Zahra Seddiqi-Hamedani and Elham Choubdar are facing execution in Iran.

On September 4, it was reported that Zahra Seddiqi-Hamedani, 31, and Elham Choubdar, 24, were sentenced to death by an Urmia court in a joint case on the charge of "Corruption on Earth" through the "promotion" of homosexuality.

RELATED: Video Shows Iranian Men Defending Woman Who Was Slapped By Stranger During Women’s Rights Protests

In January, the two activists were accused of "promoting homosexuality," "promoting Christianity," and "communicating with the media opposing the Islamic Republic."

Hamadani, who is also known as Sareh, was initially arrested in October 2021 after speaking out in support of LGBTQ+ rights on social media and in a BBC documentary aired in May 2021.

She released a final video updating a loved one on her situation shortly before her arrest.

UN representatives have called for Iran to halt the executions — no date has been publicly released yet.

“We strongly condemn the sentencing of Ms. Sedighi-Hamadani and Ms. Choubdar to death and call on authorities to stay their executions and annul their sentences as soon as possible,” officials said in a statement.

“Authorities must ensure the health and well-being of both women, and promptly release them from detention.”

Activists have been calling for international attention to Zahra Seddiqi-Hamedani and Elham Choubdar’s case.

In a now-viral TikTok, criminal defense attorney Elica Le Bon called on the international media and people seeking to help Iranians highlight the executions.

   

   

She points out that though Choubdar is still listed as being in prison on public records, the media has been silent and there is no public information about the women’s wellbeing.

RELATED: France's Hijab Ban Is Not Empowering — It's Islamophobia Disguised As Feminism

Le Bon shared key resources and tips for raising awareness about the women’s plight, advising her followers to share and interact with her TikTok as well as posting on social media.

Here is what you can do to help:

Use the hashtags #LetElhamGo and #LetZahraGo.

Posting information about the case across social media under these hashtags will raise more awareness.

In your posts, tag politicians, activist groups and anyone with influence to get the story out there.

Sign the petition to release Zahra Seddiqi-Hamedani and Elham Choubdar.

A Change.org petition calling to stop the executions has already attracted over 80,000 signatures but more are needed. Sign the petition here.

Email or write a letter to government officials.

This email and letter template can be used to encourage government officials to speak up about Choubdar and Hamedani.

The public has saved Iranian protestors from execution in the past.

As Le Bon points out, raising awareness is effective in saving lives.

In September, a court reduced the death sentences of three men who were arrested during the "bloody November" protests in 2019 —- widespread protests against the regime.

Their sentences were reduced from death to just five years. 

This reduction came after massive public outrage about the men’s arrests, torture and trials.   

RELATED: ‘Assassins Of The Mind’: How Russia Is Trying To Destroy Ukrainian Culture

Alice Kelly is YourTango’s Deputy News and Entertainment Editor. Based in Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!