On the occasion of the anniversary of Mahsa “Zhina” Amini’s death tomorrow, Jill and I join people around the world in remembering her—and every brave Iranian citizen who has been killed, wounded or imprisoned by the Iranian regime for peacefully demanding democracy and their basic human dignity.
As we have seen over the last year, Mahsa’s story did not end with her brutal death. She inspired a historic movement—Woman, Life, Freedom—that has impacted Iran and influenced people across the globe who are tirelessly advocating for gender equality and respect for their human rights. In the face of continued oppression and violence, the citizens of Iran remain committed to this movement and to their fight for a free and democratic future. Iranians alone will determine the fate of their country, but, the United States remains committed to standing with them—including providing tools to support Iranians’ ability to advocate for their own future. And, we will continue to speak out against all forms of gender-based violence against women and girls everywhere, including women human rights defenders who are so often targeted for using their voices.
Over the last year, the United States has responded to the calls of the Iranian people and organized an unprecedented diplomatic campaign that led to the Iranian government’s removal from the UN Commission on the Status of Women, and the creation of a UN fact-finding mission to investigate their human rights abuses. We have helped a growing number of human rights activists find safe haven in the United States. We made it easier for Iranians to access the internet: at the height of the protests, 30 million Iranians—nearly one in three—were using U.S.-supported anti-censorship tools. We have also sanctioned over 70 Iranian individuals and entities responsible for supporting the regime’s oppression of its people. And today, we are announcing additional sanctions targeting some of Iran’s most egregious human rights abusers.
Today—as we remember Mahsa’s tragic death—we reaffirm our commitment to the courageous people of Iran who are carrying on her mission. They are inspiring the world with their resilience and resolve. And together with our allies and partners, we stand with them.