“Following the tragic death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the Iranian ‘Morality Police’. Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta needs to speak up, call in the ambassador, and show that New Zealand does not accept this oppression,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Mahsa Amini died in custody after being arrested and beaten by Iran’s ‘Morality Police’ for not wearing her hijab correctly and revealing some of her hair.

“Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong has made it clear Australia stands with Iranian women and girls in their struggle for equality, and called for an independent investigation into the death. In contrast, New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta’s silence has been deafening.

“While the Foreign Minister has been weak in their condemnation, ACT believes the Iranian Government’s representatives should not get a free pass in New Zealand. The ambassador should call Dr Mohammad Reza Mofatteh in for a ‘please explain.’

“I met with Dr Mofatteh in similar circumstances over the treatment of Baháʼí followers last April. I have asked him to meet again. While we cannot easily influence those on the other side of the world, we should be vigorously engaging the Iranian regime’s representatives here.

“New Zealanders have been shocked, appalled and saddened by these events. The strong reaction is clear from New Zealanders who have taken to the streets in protest.

“If other nations don’t stand up and push back on these sorts of atrocities then we have no chance of ever putting an end to them. The Iranian Government should be forced to consider whether these actions are acceptable and whether it can be accepted by the global community if they continue.”

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David Seymour