Seventeen female political prisoners in the Women’s Ward of Evin Prison signed and published a statement protesting the regime’s approach in dealing with justice-seeking mothers.
In parts of their statement, the female political prisoners wrote:
It has been a long time that despotism and exploitation have brought nothing for the people of Iran, except repression, starvation and want.
This contentious battle can be seen in the most explicit form in the ruling regime’s confrontation over the years with justice-seeking mothers and their feeling of motherhood. This is where the regime, despite their emphasis on women’s role as mothers intended to restrict them to their homes, does not tolerate protesting women’s feeling of motherhood.
Many women have given birth to their children in prison and raised them there; there have been mothers deprived of seeing their children’s bodies or of knowing their places of burial; there have been mothers sent to prison for demanding justice and freedom for their children; many justice-seeking mothers have been forced to leave their children behind, spending years in prison, away from their children without a single day of furlough.
Many mothers have been deprived of visiting their children in the prison halls, and there are restless mothers who have been waiting long hours behind prison gates to enjoy their most inalienable right of embracing their children. Their suffering is not any less than that of their children.
This encounter between a misogynous regime on the one hand, and women and mothers who have risen for freedom and justice on the other, has continued over all these years. The perpetuation of this struggle, in and of itself, is an indication of the increasing awareness and growing struggle and protests by Iranian women. There are many examples.
Examples of pressure on justice-seeking mothers
In the past few months, Farangis Mazloumi was arrested and detained despite her illnesses for defending her (imprisoned) son, Soheil Arabi. Alireza Shir Mohammadi’s mother lost her son in prison because she did not have 80million tomans to deposit for his bail bond. Raheleh Asl Ahmadi was arrested and detained for seeking to visit her daughter, Saba Kord Afshari.
We, the signatories of this statement, some of whom have experienced long years of separation from our children, hereby declare our protest to the oppression of women, and their inhuman and unjust treatment.
We believe the continuation of such pressures and separations in recent years has not been able to break these women’s resistance but attests to their steadfastness and determination in their struggle.
We– women of this land on whichever side of prison walls– believe that the conscience of our society will not tolerate such oppression. And before long, they will take action with resolve, and will bring about liberation of the oppressed mothers of this country.
Hand in hand, in the hope of a bright future, we should be the voice of incarcerated mothers. This will be a turning point in the emancipation of the suffering conscience of humanity.
Yasaman Aryani, Maryam Akbari Monfared, Sima Entesari, Aras Amiri, Marzieh Amiri, Leila Hosseinzadeh, Nazanin Zaghari, Zahra Zehtabchi, Atena Daemi, Fatemeh Ziaii, Monireh Arabshahi, Negin Ghadamian, Saba Kord Afshari, Neda Naji, Nargess Mohammadi, Fereshteh Mohammadi, Sepideh Moradi
Evin Prison – October 2019