Iran’s systemic strike on environmental activism

Mar 01, 2019, 7:17 AM EST
(Source: Henry Bush/flickr)
(Source: Henry Bush/flickr)

The safe space for environmental activism in Iran is shrinking as highlighted by the case of nine environmental experts and activists, who were detained by the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in early 2018 and are languishing in jails with one of them dead in suspicious conditions.

The environmental campaigners from the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation (PWHF) were slapped with frivolous charges for collecting “sensitive” environmental information and attempting to disrupt Iran’s national security by monitoring its ballistic missile programs with camera traps, writes The Guardian.

This is not an aberration. Iran’s hardline forces have begun to paint environmental crusaders as secret functionaries of hostile agencies like Mossad, CIA and MI6, a trend that emerges due to growing environmental awareness among common people.

The government cannot afford to be passive in quelling the voices that mobilize popular opinion against its environmental inaction and hence a systemic assault on campaigners and activists.