Dancing on the market square: #illegalinIran

Let’s Talk About Yes organises a dance protest for human rights in Iran.
'Stop the killing in Iran' Photo Shutterstock

At the initiative of Wageningen’s Let’s Talk About Yes (LTAY), there will be dancing on the market square in the city centre to raise awareness of the human rights situation in Iran. LTAY invites all WUR students and employees to join in and sign an Amnesty International petition.

LTAY’s dance protest is the local interpretation of the Amnesty campaign for human rights in Iran. Dancing may seem like a strange way to protest. ‘But not if you consider that dancing in the streets of Iran can put you in mortal danger’, says LTAY’s Eveline Nales. The social media hashtag #illegalinIran underscores this fact.

The protest follows the wave of dismay and protests across the globe (and on campus) following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody following her harsh arrest by the Iranian moral police for allegedly failing to correctly wear her headscarf and revealing her hair. In response to the news, women all over the world, some of them well-known, cut off a lock of hair as a show of support for the oppressed women in Iran.

Death sentences

The outcry may have somewhat subsided, but the human rights situation in Iran is still gruesome, says Amnesty. Numerous Iranian protesters have been arrested and tortured, dozens are facing death sentences, and several executions have already been carried out. By dancing on the market square on Saturday from 13.00-15.00 hrs, Let’s Talk About Yes aims to raise awareness for an Amnesty International petition calling on the Iranian judicial powers to release the prisoners.

Let’s Talk About Yes is closely affiliated with Amnesty. The human rights organisation put consensual sex on the agenda of universities and society at large following the shocking outcome of an extensive study on sexual violence and transgressive behaviour among students. LTAY is now a part of Amnesty’s Gender and human rights network, Nales says.

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