As we continue our tour of Hostile screenings, thinking about the hostile migration policy within the UK, we have also been reflecting on the hostile environments abroad. The ongoing protest movement in Iran is a shocking reminder of the atrocities people, especially women and vulnerable groups, face globally.

President Raisi’s government has created a hostile environment for women, shockingly highlighted by the death of Mahsa Amini in September at the hands of the Iranian morality police. The situation in Iran is a reminder that hostile environments are not just a policy issue, but an issue of human rights.

Protesters from a broad range of classes, led by women, are defying the country’s hijab laws and challenging the strict theocratic government which severely restricts women’s rights. 

At an absolute minimum 378 people have died so far, including 43 children. As well as clamping down hard on the protest movement and arresting in excess of 15,800 people, the regime has suppressed all non-state media as well as the internet.

A request to hold a special session of the UN Human Rights Council has been submitted on behalf of 42 countries.

We watch on with a mix of horror, admiration and hope for the women fighting for their fundamental human rights.