After the tragic death of 22 year old Mahsa Amini in the hands of Iran’s morality police, the Iranian people have shown huge courage in coming together to demand a better future.

These protests are about ordinary Iranian people’s demands for fundamental freedoms to live their lives as they choose. I have been heartened by the bravery of the protesters, especially the women and girls spearheading them.

The violence that protestors have been subjected to by the Iranian state is totally unjustified and must stop. I echo the comments of the Shadow Defence Secretary, David Lammy, in saying that it is time for new sanctions to be brought against those responsible. Likewise, I vocally support Labour’s calls for the UK to do more to support Iranian civil society and independent journalism. BBC Persian Radio, despite being illegal, is accessed by millions of Iranians – but the BBC has announced that it will be closed down.

My thoughts and solidarity are with the Iranian people at this time, not least the loved ones of Masha Amini and all those who have been killed or injured in the protests.

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