Opponents of Iran’s regime are urging foreign ambassadors to boycott an annual celebration of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Tehran, with a hashtag campaign led by individuals who have lost family members to the regime.
The event, reportedly taking place on Thursday, involves meeting with Iranian officials, including the president, to celebrate the anniversary of the 1979 revolution that toppled the shah and led to the establishment of the Islamic Republic.
The calls for boycotting the event come amid heightened anger in Iran due to a recent deadly crackdown on anti-regime protests following the death of Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in police custody.
Hamed Esmaeilion, who is leading the campaign for justice for victims of the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 shot down by Iran in 2020, said it was “unforgivable” to participate in the celebration of a “criminal regime.”
“It is unforgivable to participate in the power grab anniversary of the most illegitimate and criminal regime,” Esmaeilion, whose wife and daughter were among the victims of Iran’s shootdown of flight PS752, wrote on Twitter, using the hashtag “BoycotIRIDay” (Boycott the Islamic Republic of Iran Day).
“Democratic Governments must boycott the shameful ceremonies in Tehran on February 9,” he said.
Roya Piraei, whose mother Minoo Majidi was killed by security forces during protests over Amini’s death, called on Iranians on Twitter to unite and ask foreign representatives in Iran to boycott the anniversary event in Tehran.
Saeed Afkari, brother of Navid Afkari, a 27-year-old wrestling champion who was executed by the regime in 2020, also joined the campaign.
“We, the family of Navid Afkari, who was murdered by this regime, ask the representatives of all countries not to ruin their reputations by participating in the Islamic Republic’s murderers’ feast,” Saeed Afkari wrote on Twitter.
The street protests that followed Amini’s death in September led to calls for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic and were met with a violent crackdown by authorities, with hundreds dead and thousands arrested, according to human rights groups.