Headline RoundupOctober 7th, 2022

How Should Western Countries Support Iranian Protesters?

AllSides Summary

Protests in Iran continued for a third week over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, prompting a wide range of perspectives on the protesters, the country’s hijab laws, the government’s anti-protest efforts, and ways international supporters can help. 

By some counts, over 150 people have been killed amid a forceful and often violent government crackdown. Many around the world, including celebrities and lawmakers, joined the protesters in cutting off their hair in a statement of defiance. The U.S. announced a new round of sanctions on Thursday against Iranian officials over the crackdown. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, said foreign enemies like the U.S. had “engineered” the “riots.”

Commentators around the world offered a wide range of perspectives on the protests; voices in right-rated outlets tended to focus more on the Biden administration’s actions. While Western voices appeared unanimously supportive of the protests, coverage in Russian state-funded outlet RT (Lean Right bias) called them “riots” and took Iranian government statements about Amini’s death at face value. 

Meanwhile, IranWire (Not Rated), an English-language outlet run by Iranian journalists, accused the Iranian government of lying. A writer in The Jerusalem Post (Center bias) said Western countries had a “responsibility to amplify Iranian voices,” but an editorial in The Indian Express (Not Rated) warned that the “courage” of Iranian protesters “must not be upstaged” by others. 

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