Iranian Women under Rouhani
NCRI Women’s Committee – September 2015
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Two years have passed since Rouhani took office in Iran.
This report, is a look at the conditions of women during these two years, revealing two issues: on the one hand, the rise in suppression and pressures against women and on the other, the continuation of protests.
In the month of October 2014, Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was hanged for defending herself against an agent of the Iranian regime’s Intelligence Ministry, a man who intended to rape her. This was while many international bodies had called for her release and protested this execution. Reyhaneh’s body was left hanging from the noose for an hour after her death.
Political prisoners have been the prime victims of human rights violations.
Motahareh Bahrami, Reyhaneh Haj-Ibrahim, Zeynab Jalalian, Sedigheh Moradi and Fatima Rahnama have been deprived of medical treatment despite suffering from serious illnesses.
The physical conditions of Atena Daemi and Atena Farghadani, both under pressure in prison, are unacceptable and they are imprisoned for defending their freedom of expression.
Afsaneh Bayazidi and Atena Farghadani have resorted to hunger strikes to obtain their rights.
Women such as Farideh Shahgoli, Zahra Ka’abi, Golrokh Ibrahimi Irayi, Nahid Gorji, Maryam Sadat Yahyavi and Manijeh Sadeqhi have been sent to jail for political and internet related activities. They add to the dozens of women arrested in rallies protesting acid attacks and other demonstrations.
During Rouhani’s tenure many women have been suppressed and arrested for their beliefs and religion. At least 8 Baha’is, 5 Christians and 4 members of the ‘Erfan Halghe’ group have been arrested. 5 Baha’i students were deprived of continuing their education. During the crackdown on of Dervish’s gathering in September, women were attacked with batons and electric shockers, leading to many injuries and even fractured bones.
As for social damages, during Rouhani’s tenure, women have topped two charts: “suffering from depression” and “cases self-immolation throughout the Middle East.”
The state-run Tabnak website reported the latest numbers of cases of psychological disorders amongst women has reached 26% adding that women have an 11% higher depression rate compared to men. (State-run Tabnak website – June 22, 2015)
The status quo for cases of self-immolation is similar. The state-run Payam website issued a report referring to the high number of self- immolation cases in Iran saying, “The number of self-immolation cases in Iran shows an increasing trend. Research indicates that Iran is ranked first in suicide rates amongst women throughout the Middle East.” (State-run Payam website – June 26, 2015)
One of the main levers of crackdown used in Rouhani’s government against women are plans carried out to enforce compulsory veiling and restricting women in their right to choose what to wear.
In this regard, in July 2015 a plan called “Protecting Hijab and Virtue” was prepared and generally ratified in the Culture and Legal Commission of the Iranian regime’s so-called parliament. Based on this 9-article plan, women considered having improper veiling will be confronted and they are obligated to pay a 1 million rial fine. Similar fines will be carried out for women with improper veiling in vehicles. Women working in administrative offices will also be fined by having their wages decreased. (State-run Tasnim news agency – July 21, 2015) (State-run Ana news agency – August 10, 2015)
During Rouhani’s tenure, a devious phenomenon that has escalated is the crackdown and ostracizing of women in the society:
16-year-old girls are widows in Iran. (Khabar Farsi website – May 27, 2015)
Divorce amongst children aged 10 to 14 is becoming more and more common. A senior official in the Iranian regime’s Social Security Organization said, “There are concerning numbers related to marriages amongst children under the legal age. We have around 25,000 divorced children between the ages of 10 to 14. These numbers show that mainly girls are given away under the official age of marriage.” (State-run ILNA news agency – June 22, 2015)
Increasing number of single mothers and their ages decreasing to lower than 20 are some of the other problems that Iran’s society is facing. State-run Salamat News wrote in this regard, “4% of all single mothers in Iran are under the age of 20. This means around 8,973 women are in this age group. An advisor in women affairs says around 16,000 single mothers are under the age of 20; 14% are between the ages of 21 to 40; 12.5% are between 41 to 50 years of age; 17% are between 51 to 60 years of age; 20% are between 61 to 70 years of age; and 36% are over 71 years old. (State-run Salamat News – June 20, 2015)
Unemployment and women being expelled from work or deprived of education are some of the other dilemmas increasing significantly for women during Rouhani’s tenure.
Fatemeh Sadeghi, a university professor, provided the following statistics: “Each year around 100,000 women are expelled from the job market. 74,000 women are expelled from work after maternity leave, official numbers indicate. Therefore, one can say around 900,000 women have been expelled from work or become unemployed during this period.”
Education for girls in Iran is literally catastrophic. Around 10% of women from the ages of 6 to 17 are deprived of education, meaning around 700 to 800 girls across Iran, official numbers show. 20% of women never even enter high-school. (State-run ISNA news agency – June 31, 2015)
Furthermore, Shahindokht Molavardi, Hassan Rouhani’s vice president in women and family affairs on unemployment amongst women said, “Currently 82% of all single mothers across the country are unemployed.”
Molavardi said the percentage and presence of women in management and political posts across Iran is under 3%. (State-run ISNA news agency – March 22, 2015)
We can get a different image of Iran under Rouhani’s tenure if we add the catastrophic phenomenon known as pregnant homeless women to all these examples:
The state-run Ariya News media outlet reported the horrific situation of pregnant women seen sleeping in the streets of Tehran, saying the number of such women in the Iranian capital is actually on the rise. There are 15,000 women sleeping in the streets of Tehran each night. (State-run Ariya News media outlet – May 30, 2015)
The state-run Mehr news agency writes in this regard, “A university professor who spent a few nights with homeless people on the streets says infants are being sold even before they are born and while they are in the wombs of their homeless mothers sleeping on the streets! The Interior Ministry has reported 18 million people across Iran are living in unofficial residences.” (State-run Mehr news agency – August 22, 2015)
With all these examples, being only a tip of the iceberg of Iran’s society, women have increased their protests especially in 2015 regarding the policies adopted by Rouhani’s government.
Continuous protests staged by women nurses, teachers, physicians and relatives of prisoners behind bars are proof of this matter.
Other examples included demonstrations against acid attacks on women, a demonstration staged outside Tehran’s prosecutor’s office protesting the arrest of various activists; a rally protesting the murder of Reyhani Jabbari and Farinaz Khosravi; another demonstration against pressures against civil and political prisoners; a rally staged by ‘Laleh Park Mothers’ in Tehran and a sit-in carried out by followers of the ‘Erfan Halghe’ group protesting the death sentence issued for their leader Mohammad Ali Taheri.
These rallies are continuing to this day and “NO” is the common message expressed by Iranian women to the entirety of the regime ruling Iran.
Systematic Violation of the right to life
Execution and death sentences
In the system under the mullahs’ misogynist rule, there is only one area that women are not discriminated from: torture and execution. Women are taken to the gallows for unproven crimes that even despite international calls to halt such injustice, the medieval judicial system of this regime never grants pardoning. Self-defense against rape and harassment is determined a crime. No case is based on international norms; one woman can be taken to the gallows while another will remain in prison for undetermined length of time. And finally, no one is spares.
Nearly 60 women have been hanged during the two year tenure of Hassan Rouhani at the helm in Iran. Most were executed despite being deprived of the right to a lawyer, defense in court and a fair trial.
The stages set by the Iranian regime to this day for the execution of women has been extremely shocking. The execution of a mother with her child simultaneously in one location is just one such example. Also, a 60-year old woman, hanged and seen fighting for her life for a few minutes, was brought down for a repeat of the execution. If we add the innocent face of Reyhaneh Jabbari to these cases – as she was executed for the ‘crime’ of defending herself against the aggression of a Ministry of Intelligence agent – we will get a better picture of the crimes taking place against Iranian women under Rouhani’s watch. Reyhaneh had already endured 7 years of torture in prison and was executed at the age of 26.
First Step: Execution of Women
Merely a month after Rouhani’s government officially came into power it began its work by executing women. In the span of just one week 7 women in Yazd and Urumieh prisons were executed.
This was the beginning of a trend of executions. In October 2013 a woman was executed along with a group of 6 men in Kermanshah’s Diesel Abad Prison. This month alone another woman was hanged in Urumieh prison. The last day of October ended with yet another execution. A woman convicted of killing a police officer with chastity motives was also executed.
Mitra Shahnavazi sentenced to 11 years behind bars in Gharchak Prison in Varamin, southeast of Tehran.
Execution on charges of first degree murder
Many of the women, who are hanged or placed on death row on charges of first degree murder, are in fact victims of the inhumane policy of mandatory marriage at young ages, insisted by regime officials.
Farzaneh is one example. Her lawyer announced his client has been executed. Abdolssamad Khorramshahi said, “Farzaneh’s relative informed me of her execution in a call today. Farzaneh was 26 and although she accepted her husband’s murder during the preliminary investigations but later denied it and said a man called Saeed had killed her husband.” (Asre Iran state-run Daily – Mar. 4, 2014)
A female prisoner of Rajaee Shahr Prison in the city of Karaj was executed at dawn on May 10, 2014. Behjat was charged with murder.
A woman was executed on September 10, 2014 in Qarchak Varamin Prison on charges of premeditated murder. Her identity is unknown and reports were not published in state-run media.
A retribution verdict issued for a woman who murdered her son-in-law, was carried out yesterday in prison. The woman, whose name has not been revealed, was executed after 10 months in jail. (Jam-e Jam website – September 24, 2014)
Pardoning a victim after being hanged from the noose
A 60-year-old prisoner who spent almost one-third of her life in prison (18 years), has been waiting for her sentence to be carried out all through this time. Four other prisoners were executed in Bandar Abbas Central Prison simultaneously with the old woman.
The death sentence of Falaknaz Moradi was postponed two minutes after she was suspended from the gallows on April 17, 2014.
Mother and son executed coincidently
The regime carried out a mass execution in Zahedan Central Prison on August 9, 2014. Five prisoners, including a mother and her son Osman Deh-Morde were hanged. Osman was only 20 years old and was 17 at the time of his arrest.
(State-run Fars news agency – December 10, 2014)
Execution on drug charges
Execution on drug charges is a punishment that has been rejected and condemned time and again by international bodies, yet the mullahs’ insist on it. This is while it has been revealed many times that the major drug cartels in Iran are organized by officials of the regime itself.
Five prisoners were hanged in Tabriz Central Prison at dawn of December 17, 2014. One victim was sent to the gallows from the women’s ward. The woman is the fifth female executed in the month of December.
Prior to this in July 2014 a group of ten prisoners were executed in the holy month of Ramadan. Four of these victims were women.
A woman by the name of Marzie Ostovari was sent to the gallows in Orumieh Central Prison on the morning of December 2, 2014 along with four men on drug-related charges.
Four women were hanged on drug-related charges in the courtyard of Bam prison on December 25, 2014. They had been transferred from Bam Central Prison’s women’s ward to solitary confinement in preparation for their executions.
Executing women under the pretext of drug-related charges continued in 2015. In the second month of this year Marzie Hossein Zehi was executed on similar charges in Kerman prison.
Execution under ambiguous charges
In Iran in many cases of those arrested and especially people on death row receive such rulings without their “crime being proven” or enjoying a fair trial. They are accused and sentenced without ever having access to a lawyer, simply on the basis of “bogus allegations” that are “never proven”, and crimes they have never actually committed.
In some cases these allegations are obtained through coerced confessions under torture and intense pressures. Most of the executed women referred to below are such cases.
On May 11, 2014 a group of prisoners were executed in Gohardasht, including one woman whose identity was never revealed.
The Iranian regime authorities executed nine prisoners in Kermanshah on 7 August. According to mullahs’ media outlets seven of them, including a woman, were hanged in Kermanshah’s Central Prison. (NCRI – August 9, 2014)
Three prisoners, including a woman, were hanged in Zahedan Central Prison in southeast Iran on the morning of August 23, 2014. Authorities had transferred the three prisoners to solitary confinement in the prison’s quarantine ward on 21 August.
The mullahs’ criminal regime hanged ten prisoners, including a woman on August 26, 2014.
The executions were carried out in the cities of Kerman and Bandar Abbas.
The executions continued in September. On the 17th of this month a woman was executed in Gharchak Prison in Varamin, southeast of Tehran. Two women were also executed on September 21 in Zahedan Central Prison. (NCRI – September 21, 2014)
Eleven prisoners, including one woman were executed on the morning of December 2, 2014. Akram Hosseini, 43, was transferred from the women’s ward in Qarchak Varamin Prison to solitary confinement in Ghezel Hesar Prison and sent to the gallows.
In December 2014 women in Ghezel Hessar, Urumieh, Ghazvin and Zahedan prisons were executed. One of these victims was Akram Hosseini, 43, from the women’s prison in Gharchak Prison of Varamin, southeast of Tehran.
Another victim, identified by state-run news agencies as F.A., was a woman executed for possessing narcotics as requested by a middle man. This woman protested this ruling against her but her execution was upheld by the general prosecutor and was carried out in Ghazvin prison.
Executions continued from the beginning of 2015.
Two women were amongst the 12 individuals hanged on March 7 one day prior to International Women’s Day on March 7. On June 2nd another woman in Gharchak Prison of Varamin – 39-year old Fateme Mehrabani, mother of two – was transferred from solitary confinement to the execution site.
In the most recent case on 29 July 2015 a 43-year old mother of a small child was executed in Ghezel Hessar Prison. Her execution took place while a European delegation led by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini was in Tehran negotiating with Iranian officials. Furthermore, on August 10 an imprisoned woman by the name of Fateme Haddadi, 39, was hanged in Gohardasht Prison after enduring jail time for 8 years. She was the mother of a girl.
These executions were carried out while another prisoner by the name of Akram Mahdavi, already in jail for 12 years, is scheduled to be executed next week.
Execution for self-defense
Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was executed at the break of dawn on Saturday, October 25, 2014 in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj, west of Tehran. She had already spent 7 years in prison.
Jabbari, a decorator, was 19 when charged with murdering Morteza Sarbandi, a 47-year-old man who was a former employee of the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS). Jabbari, defended herself against Sarbandi who attempted to rape her.
Fariborz Jabbari, Reyhaneh’s uncle, revealed some details of her case in a press conference on October 29, 2014 in Berlin. Reyhaneh was held in solitary confinement for a long time after her arrest and from the very beginning, interrogators tried to get forced confessions from her, her uncle said. They asked her to change her remarks on three issues. First, the victim, Morteza Abdulali Sarbandi, did not intend to rape her; second, the knife (the murder weapon) was purchased by Reyhaneh and brought to the crime scene; and third, the apartment door where the crime took place was open and Reyhaneh had always had the chance to leave.
“Reyhaneh had only spoken to the victim three times before the incident and there was no friendship between them. In fact, arrangements were made for Reyhaneh to design Morteza Sarbandi’s office. Although Morteza Sarbandi had a medical license, he was not practicing medicine and was more involved in trading medicine and medical equipment. It is not clear if he had actually ended his employment in the Ministry of Intelligence” Reyhaneh’s uncle said.
Mr. Jabbari added that the night before her execution, Reyhaneh was placed before a camera and was asked to say that the victim did not intend to rape nor attack her. However, Reyhaneh did not accept to comply. In a telephone message that is known as her will and has been posted in various media outlets with her own voice, Reyhaneh had clearly asked that her body organs be donated to needy people without informing them of the donor. Reyhaneh’s last request was not even accepted. (Deutsche Welle – October 30, 2014)
After Reyhaneh Jabbari’s execution, many countries and international bodies condemned this criminal act by the Iranian regime.
John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Minister wrote in a statement, “Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms Iran’s execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari, a 26-year old.”
Jen Saki, US State Department Spokesperson issued a statement and wrote, “We condemn this morning’s execution in Iran of Reyhaneh Jabbari… There were serious concerns with the fairness of the trial and the circumstances surrounding this case، including reports of confessions made under severe duress.”
The German government’s director of human rights expressed regret over Reyhaneh’s execution and extended his condolences to her family and said that the death penalty is an inhuman, cruel and immoral act and has no credibility in the 21st century.
Also, the UK Foreign Office deputy for Middle East affairs, issued a statement on Saturday and expressed his regret and concern over the execution of the 26-year-old interior designer and stressed that there are questions surrounding the due process of this case.
Yet the execution of this heroine tarnished the Iranian regime’s reputation. Continuous statements and revelations by Reyhaneh’s mother and support to her, increased.
- M Pakravan, mother of Reyhaneh Jabbari said, “On the last night they interrogated Reyhaneh before a camera. They wanted her to confess that Morteza Sarbandi had no intention to rape her. Reyhaneh did not beg nor did she plea before them. And she made all three men linked to Haj Morteza cry. Jalal Sarbandi pushed the lever which led to the hanging of a freedom-loving woman… sooner or later we will all die. Rest assured on that day I will neither forgive nor forget. On that day even God won’t forgive them. Reyhaneh might be gone now… may she be a thorn in the eyes of the aggressors… what are they going to do with other girls who have endured so much?”
- On December 4, 2014 a ceremony was held marking the 40th day following Reyhaneh’s execution. To avoid harassment by the regime’s agents, the ceremony was held in the parking lot of their home which was beautifully decorated by Reyhaneh’s friends. Reyhaneh’s mother writes, “From now on, it is me against Reyhaneh’s enemies. I am a soldier who is preparing her pen instead of a sword. Whoever doesn’t like it, should never get in my way… I have been showered with gifts about Reyhaneh. The scarf I am wearing is the work of an artist who has printed Reyhaneh’s signature on it.”
- In mid-December, Mrs. Pakravan wrote, “My beloved daughter, I will release your writings into the wind to spread your words like seeds. A tree whose fruit is cries, the cries of justice and humanity. You will be the leader of those women who are in the shadows of rape, day in and day out. Women who are living in the shadows, fearing an unjustified death resulting from rulings tainted with administrative corruption and patriarchy. Women that may not have been executed, but resort to suicide due to shame or depression. Maybe if it weren’t for you I would never understand that history is not just meant to tell the stories of those who conquered lands, but also to remind us of the pains the people of those lands have suffered. For the silent pain of women, the hidden half of those lands. My Reyhaneh, my soul is full of excitement and enthusiasm. The excitement of the lost life of my little girl who had no strength to scream, but you gave others that courage. I will write a story where 93 women will tell their own stories. Many attackers, under the shadow of government with the security, positions or the power they have, are still waiting for their next prey. My daughter, you are a rare woman who was hunted but killed her predator. They may have murdered you, but always remember that there are many who are leaning on you to rise one day.” (NCRI Women’s Committee – December 20, 2014)
Inhumane treatment and cruel punishments
Women are the main victims of torture and killings in Iran under the religious dictatorship. Especially during the past two years of Rouhani’s tenure, the Iranian regime has permitted any and all aggression and violence against women and deprived Iranian women of their most fundamental right, being the right to life.
Women in social arenas are targets of insults; in detention centers they are tortured and raped; and on the street they are victims of horrific acid attacks. The example below is just a short segment of this atrocious reality imposed on women under Rouhani’s watch.
Stoning to death
On the official day that Rouhani’s government came into power, being 15 August 2013, a woman was placed on the verge of being stoned: Zahra Pursaie.
In 2012 she was prosecuted and sentenced to stoning. One day prior to this a group of women in Iranshahr (southeast Iran) gathered outside the regime’s judiciary in Taleghani Avenue to protest the inhumane stoning ruling issued for another woman by the name of Zohre Baran-zehi. Two women were already stoned in this town in July 2013.
The mullahs’ use flogging as a common method to punish political activists and other mullah-fabricated crimes. Violating sharia laws is one of the crimes women and youth are flogged for.
Iranian journalist Marzieh Rasouli reported to Evin prison on July 8, 2014 to serve a two-year sentence and receive 50 lashes over charges of spreading anti-government propaganda.
Marzieh Rasouli was arrested in winter of 2011 with a group of other journalists and was held in ward 2A of Evin Prison under the supervision of the Revolutionary Guards for over 40 days. One of her charges was cooperating with the BBC. She was released from Evin prison on a 300 million toman bail.
The state-run Young Journalists’ Club in a so-called revelation on Marzieh Rasouli wrote on July 12, 2014, “The journalist supporting unrest has been sentenced to two years prison and 50 lashes. She publicizes her ruling and in less than a few hours most anti-revolutionary websites provided widespread coverage of her personal webpage in social Medias. The journalist is found with many photos ‘without hijab’. The most important of her violations was during the unrests where she participated in illegal gatherings intending to strike blows to the country and continuously instigated street unrests and flared up the public opinion by posting her activities on social media. Rasouli speaks of ‘rape’ and its relation with ‘torture’ in her ‘Facebook’ account. Immediately after the verdict was posted on media outlets anti-Iran human rights organizations intensified their activities again and this can be used as a leverage against Iran in the final round of nuclear talks.”
A youth group is victim to flogging punishment.
In the month of September, seven youth dancing to ‘Happy’ were condemned to 99 lashes each, on charges of ‘illegitimate relations’ for producing a ‘preposterous video clip’ and fined 6 million rials (around $200). Prior to the report, they had been condemned to time in jail. However, Farshin Rafugaran, the group’s lawyer said, “In the court’s opinion, Reyhaneh Taravati had more serious charges and the discovery of alcoholic beverages was amongst the allegations raised against her. Therefore, in addition to 99 lashes and a $200 fine, she is also sentenced to serve 6 months behind bars.”
Reihaneh Teravati, Sasan Suleimani, Neda Motamani, Afshin Sohrabi, Bardia Moradi, Raha Shamkhi, members of this group published a video clip with American singer Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’ on YouTube. All group members were arrested on May 20, 2014 and released one day later.
Upholding flogging sentences for women continued in the second year of Rouhani’s tenure. Masoume Zia, an activist of the ‘Erfan Halghe’ sect, was sentenced to 74 lashes on 13 June 2015. Her charges were taking part in the 12 June 2006 peaceful gathering with the objective of changing discriminatory laws against women.
Attacks on women in public became literally official only two months after Rouhani came to power.
Security agents in Tehran’s Amir Kabir University attacked a college girl and delivered a severe beating to her on 1 November 2013. This student, Zahra Khandan, was attempting to take part in a welcoming ceremony being held for a college girl returning from prison.
Inhumane conducts by the mullahs’ agents during the holy month of Ramadan increased.
A pregnant woman was attacked by agents of the moral police in Tehran on July 24, 2014. She wasn’t able to fast and was drinking water because of her pregnancy when she was attacked and beaten by the police.
Afterwards and in August 2014 a similar case of beating and attacking took place in public.
‘Guidance’ patrol agents arrested 13 young women in Tehran on August 17 and forced them away from the scene. In the middle of all this a female agent began attacking a detained young woman, beating her with punches and kicks. This raised increasing protests from eyewitnesses.
Another scene in which women are insulted and harassed is when they go to prisons to visit their relatives and loved ones. Security agents in many cases attack the prisoners’ families and use very insulting behavior. On October 19, 2014 when the family of political prisoner Jamshid Dehghani went to see him in Gohardasht Prison security agents literally attacked and started beating this prisoner’s sister. Her leg suffered a severe blow and her child fell out of her arms.
Harassing and rape
The regime ruling Iran is torturing women under the pretext of “sharia laws” while its officials and agents are the main elements of corruption. Reports in the month of August indicated, an agent working in the Iranian regime’s court in the town of Shahr-e Rey (south of Tehran), in charge of transferring arrested women to court, was found to rape women arrested for various reasons. The criminal agent is identified as Mohammad Javad Zolfaghari who has raped women while transferring them to court. He was arrested 15 days ago when many women placed charges against him for rape which was followed by at least 5 other women in Qarchak Varamin Prison who also filed complaints against him.
Despite the fact that Zolfaghari admitted to this crime in the initial interrogation, the Iranian regime’s courts released him on bail shortly after. There are rumors that he is to return to his former post.
In another example a Christian prisoner by the name of Ms. Maryam Naghash Zargaran, detained in Evin Prison, suffered psychological disorders and illnesses due to sexual harassment and unconventional conduct by prison authorities. After 17 months in jail this prisoner had gone for leave from 8 to 12 November 2014. However, when she returned to prison she faced repulsive behavior, and was beaten and sexually harassed by female authorities during inspection. Rape and improper behavior sent her into a shock and her physical conditions became very dire.
In October, the regime’s vicious crimes against women continued in different forms. From October 17, 2014 reports were published of horrific acid attacks against women. In the first report, at least 25 women were victims of brutal acid attacks by the Iranian regime’s organized gangs in the cities of Isfahan, Kermanshah and Tehran. A young girl died in Isfahan on 19 October when regime’s thugs spilled acid on her chest. The victims of these crimes who have been inflicted with serious injuries, including loss of eye sight, are deprived of even minimum medical treatments.
A member of the ‘Iran Plastic Surgeons Association’ Board of Directors said the treatment process for acid attack victims will be very long and expensive and the government is obligated to provide the costs. The victims need up to 60 surgeries to regain their health. The process of medical treatment may take up to 10 years. “Regaining their ‘health’ or ‘beauty’ are two different matters and victims of acid attacks will never regain their beauty,” he emphasized.
The father of an acid attack victim, Soheila Jorkesh said, “Soheila is nervous and worries about her eyes. After her right eye was blinded in the acid attack, she has undergone eight eye surgeries so far. Yet her eyes must remain closed for the next six coming months to see the result. She has not still received the special clothing for her burns that the physician prescribed two weeks ago, and Soheila has to use it for one year,” he added.
Soheila Jorkesh’s brother complained about their problems and officials forgetting their promises in January 2015 and said, “In the first days, the president, the minister of Health, the president’s advisor and the deputy minister, all visited Soheila one after another. One gave promises and the other confirmed. Now, there is neither any sign of them nor their promises. Soheila has to wait another year for her next eye surgery. Her right eye was destroyed on sight and she currently has no sight. About her burn dress, the hospital’s authorities kept on passing us from here and there until her body produced external flesh. She has become exhausted and impatient.”
Nasser Jorkesh had previously revealed that agents of the State Security Forces had threatened him not to inform the public media about the acid attack against his daughter.
He said that after talking to the brother of another victim, he realized both attacks took place in one week’s time both on Wednesday evening between 6 and 7 pm and the attackers were two motorcyclists who were escorted by a white vehicle. On the possibility of video footages on these attacks, he said, “Other than traffic cameras, there is also a fire station on that street that has closed-circuit cameras that may have the footages.”
Acid attacks continued again. A 20-year-old woman was the next victim to acid attacks on November 1, 2014. She was seriously injured and was transferred to the Ivaz-zadeh Hospital and then to Fatemi Hospital. The regime however, had prevented any reports from being published.
Agents of the mullahs’ regime carried out vicious acid attacks against two more women in the month of November. The two incidents were carried out separately in the town of Lordegan in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province (southwest).
Masked motorcyclists splashed acid on a young woman’s face in Tehran on December 15, 2014 and fled the scene immediately. The attack was similar to last October’s acid attacks in Isfahan, which none of the perpetrators have been arrested or identified by the SSF so far.
Masumeh Karaj Qorbani, 50, was victim to her ex-husband’s revenge as he copied the state-sponsored acid attacks of Isfahan carried out a couple of months ago.
Masumeh’s sister said, “On January 9 around 6 am, my sister’s ex-husband went to her house. He cut off the water, electricity and gas, and took the kids’ mobile phones. He then went to my sister’s bedside, opened her eyes and poured acid on her face. She has undergone two surgeries so far. The physicians say she has suffered 70% damage in her right eye. Also half of my sister’s face, hair, neck, right hand, chest and back have been burnt.”
After posting a piece on acid attacks in November 2014, blogger and civil activist Haniyeh Farshi received a private message on her Facebook page saying, “Haniyeh, come and let me splash a bottle of acid on you and then see if you will have the same stance!” Haniyeh was arrested in July 2010 for her activities on Facebook. She was transferred to ward 209 of Evin Prison and condemned to 7 years prison. She was later released on a 7 billion rial bail due to depression and the conditions of her kidney.
In November 2014, Ahmadi Moghadam, Commander of the Iranian regime’s SSF stated: “The Isfahan incident was highlighted because of widespread media coverage. This is while there have been 318 cases of acid attacks this year. The criminal responsible for the acid attacks hasn’t been arrested yet.”
Regime officials have taken no measures to stop the vicious acts of their own elements. In fact, they are turning their backs.
Haghighat-pour, a member of the Iranian regime’s Majlis’ (parliament) National Security Commission called the recent acid attacks as a ‘small crime’ and said in late December 2014, “We must not involve the government and judiciary system in small crimes.”
Based on news leaked from Isfahan’s Intelligence during the month of November, acid attacks against women were carried out following remarks, approvals and fatwas of the regime’s clergymen. Based on these information, the commander of the IRGC in Isfahan, Gholamreza Soleimani, and the city’s Friday prayer leader, Tabatabai-Nejad, as well as the head of Basij’s students organization in Isfahan, Mohsen Analouyi, carried out the horrific crimes using Basij and IRGC forces in Isfahan and receiving the approval and fatwa of the clergymen in Qom. The mullahs’ so-called Supreme Leader, Khamenei has called in a secret decree, for the prevention of publication of any news about acid attacks and ordered the cases to be closed after witnessing widespread protests. The cases have not been resolved and police and judiciary officials have not followed-up, proving this matter.
In 2015 these crimes continued against Iranian women and girls. On June 25th a 34-year old woman was the victim of this crime and suffered intense burns.
Two days later reports of yet another such crime were received from Iran’s Lorestan Province. A mother and her daughter were targets of an acid attack. Initial evaluation shows this 39-year old mother saw 40% of her body burned in this attack.
In July 215 a woman and two girls in the streets of Bukan (northwestern Iran) were acid attacked in two different incidents. One of these victims was Susane Ismaeel-Nezhad, a college student studying construction. “Security apparatuses are behind acid attack incidents against women!” said her brother Ali after this attack.
This incident raised intense anger amongst locals and they staged street protests in response.
The continuing trend of acid attacks were made public by a regime official on July 23, 2015. Abu Torabi, a member of the so-called parliament Legal and Judiciary Commission referred to 300 acid attacks in one year.“There is no decrease in the punishment of acid attacks across the country,” he said.
(In the latest example taking place on August 11, 2015 a woman by the name of Afsane Ghorbani, 37, from the city of Bane was attacked by four individuals on a beltway road. The attackers splashed acid injuring her back and chest. She is currently in Sanandaj Hospital receiving treatment and under medical care. Psychiatrists usually describe the status of acid attack victims as “similar to death”, as such incidents have consequences ranging from losing one’s facial beauty and eyes. The victims’ lifestyle and objectives all change as a result.
Stabbing & murdering
After the brutal and systematic acid attacks throughout Iran, four women in Isfahan were stabbed on the night of November 6, 2014 by gangs related to the mullahs’ regime. A resident said, “These actions are works of the regime elements. They have released vicious people in the streets to terrify everyone.”
Twelve women, including five university students were stabbed in their hips by the Iranian regime’s agents in the city of Jahrom. The attacks were carried out on November 23 and 25, 2014 following rallies by 300 University students protesting repressive policies on campus.
One of the attackers is a 22-year-old Basij member, Mohammad Beheshti, who is the commander of the Basij forces in the nearby city of Ghotb Abad. His father is a Revolutionary Guard. The nights prior to the attack, he fired his pellet gun to the windows of one of the dormitories.
The stabber said that he was under the influence of a speech delivered by a cleric saying “spilling the blood of an improperly veiled individual is permissible”. In the initial interrogations he had said his sole intention was to fight against improper veiling and to this end, only women and girls were targets that did not abide by the full Islamic hijab codes. Iranian regime officials have attempted to portray the entire story as an isolated and self-motivated event. On November 30, 2014, state-run Asr-e Iran website cited Fars Province governor Seyed Mohammad Ahmadi as saying, “The stabber of women in Jahrom is suffering from personal and sexual disorders.” Following the stabbings, Jahrom students refused to attend their classes in a sign of protest, demanding the elements behind the attacks be arrested, put on trial and punished.
On December 15, 2014 a motorcyclist stabbed a high-school girl in Tehran. The attack, taking place from behind the victim, fortunately did not cause a deep wound because the young girl was wearing winter clothes. However, this has created a tense atmosphere in the school and now girls won’t dare to walk in the streets.
In addition to attacks with knives, killings have also been another example of endless violence against women during Rouhani’s tenure. On November 29, 2014 a shocking report was published from Bandar Abbas (southern Iran) about four armed individuals entering a college girls’ house, resorting to force and raping the girls. They then viciously murdered all the victims and left the scene.
Humiliation is nothing strange to Iranian women living under the mullahs’ misogynist regime. However, at the end of the 2nd year of Rouhani’s tenure, we witnessed a significant example depicting the equality promised by Rouahni to women during the elections. Security agents arrested three women and two men on the morning of July 27, 2015. They boarded the women alongside other arrested individuals on Toyota pick-up truck, chained their arms and legs, and paraded them in Tehran’s streets. Such disgraceful measures were protested by the public.
Suppressing Dervish’s gathering
Sediqeh Khalili, a protester in the Dervishes gathering in front of Tehran’s Prosecutor’s Office on March 8 and 9, 2014 said protestors were severely beaten and offended by security agents before being arrested. On the first day of the gathering, Tehran Police chief Sajedinia had promised to follow up on their demands but a day later they were beaten and arrested. Dervishes protested the prevention of medical care for three jailed Dervishes as well as the illegal exile of two other Dervishes from Evin Prison to Rajaee Shahr Prison.
First day of protest, March 8, 2014
Sediqeh Khalili, spouse of Hamidreza Moradi participated in the gathering along with her young daughter and brother-in-law. She explained, “On Saturday morning a great number of Dervishes had gathered in front of Tehran’s Prosecutor’s Office. We demanded to see Tehran’s prosecutor to ask him to send the three sick dervishes to a hospital and return the two illegally transferred Dervishes to Evin but all of a sudden the agents attacked us with pepper spray and teargas.”
Second day of protest, March 9, 2014
Mrs. Khalili added, “We gathered there again on Sunday at 11 a.m. The place was full of police forces and plainclothes agents. The plainclothes were stationed in the streets up to around Tehran Bazaar.
We were surrounded with fire department vehicles, ambulances and police vans so that other people and those who went to Bazaar would not see us. We were standing in silence. The agents took our pictures and videotaped us. Half an hour later some Dervish men shouted that they wanted to see Tehran’s prosecutor and express their demands but all of a sudden police forces, plainclothes and Special Guard units attacked us. Female police forces were also present. They dragged the ladies on the ground, pulled off their scarves and pulled their hairs, kicked them with their boots and swore at them. The men were beaten by batons in the head and neck. They grabbed the men from their mouths or choked them with their hands.I saw all these scenes. They shouted towards the ordinary people that we were a bunch of bag-snatchers and thieves and we wanted to take advantage of the crowd in Bazaar.
The male agents beat the Dervish women too and swore at them. My daughter wanted to prevent her uncle from being arrested but they beat her head, arms and legs with a baton. They pulled her hair and the scarf fell off her head. They beat us all. They pulled the mother of jailed Dervish, Reza Entesari, who is 60 years old, on the ground and beat her. I was sitting in front of the van and I shouted I will not stay here unless you bring my daughter to me. One of the agents kicked me with his boot and pushed the door on my leg so I had to pull my leg into the van.” She continued, “First they took us to the ministry’s building. I don’t know why, but they didn’t accept us there so they took us to Evin Prison. The weather was very cold. All the men were kept in the yard and the women were taken to the praying hall. Some kids were among us; a three-month infant and a few two to three year old kids. We were in that hall for hours and they didn’t give any water or food to the kids who cried.” (Majzoobane Noor, March 11, 2014)
Dervish women and children were arrested during another rally staged on September 21. In Tehran security agents had blocked all entrances and exits, and 89 Dervishes were literally besieged. The agents then began beating these women with batons and electric shockers. In the middle of all this a number of women were injured and sent to hospitals.One of these women was Maryam Feisani who has severely beaten by the agents. Furthermore, Nazanin Safari’s arm was broken and she was sent to a hospital. A Dervish mother described the scene as: “We have people along with us ranging from a two-month old infant to a 70-year old frail woman. They attacked us with electric shockers and batons.”
The Iranian people are deprived of any form of political freedom and any form of freedom of conscience is restricted by the tyrannical regime of the mullahs’. When the political autocracy is combined with the so-called religious misogyny, the result is an indiscriminate crackdown of even the smallest activities by Iranian women. The suspicious phenomena of arbitrary arrests are of no surprise to anyone in Iran.
Ahmad Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, has also expressed grave concerns about arbitrary arrest in Iran. “The detention of journalists and human rights defenders weakens the protection of human rights of all in Iran,” he stipulated
“The recurrent use of vague references to threats to national security, propaganda against the system and insult to authorities to prosecute and detain journalists or activists is in contradiction to both international norms relating to freedoms of expression and association and the principle of legality,”, Shaheed emphasized.
Farideh Shah Goli
Farideh Shagoli, political activist and former political prisoner in the 1980’s, was arrested after going to Evin Prison’s District Attorney’s office on May 21, 2015. Moqaddasi, the DA of branch 2 had previously sentenced her to a three-year prison sentence with punishment on charges of propagating against the system, insulting Khamenei, collusion and supporting the People’s Fadayan Guerillas Organization.
Zahra Zahtabchi, a senior sociology expert and social sciences researcher, was arrested on 16 October 2013 and sent to prison. She is the mother of two small girls. Interrogators had threatened her family that going public about her conditions will have serious consequences. Her long detention in solitary confinement has resulted in serious physical disorders.
Ms. Negar Haeri, daughter of Mashala Haeri a political prisoner, was arrested on June 10, 2014 and transferred to the notorious Qarchak Varamin Prison. Negar, 24, is a lawyer by profession and a relative of PMOI members in Camp Liberty, in Iraq. She had previously received a ten-year prison term for giving legal assistance to families of political prisoners. She was also arrested in 2009 and given a ten-year prison sentence, which was suspended at the time.
Following an interview about her father Mashallah Haeri and the publication of a picture of him in coma, she was arrested once again on May 25, 2015 and sent to Qarchak, located south of Tehran.
The sanitary conditions in this prison are poor and she is detained in a ward with drug offenders. The prison is so overcrowded that she sleeps in the corridor near the bathrooms. Furthermore, air conditioners do not work in the summer despite the hot weather, making it unbearable for prisoners.
In mid-September, Negar Haeri’s cell was brutally raided by male prison guards. While searching the cell, they confiscated her notes and carried out a humiliating body search on her. They also threatened Ms. Haeri that if she passes the news to the media, she will be placed under even more pressure.
Negar Haeri is suffering from eye infection as a result of the terrible hygienic conditions in this prison. However, Intelligence Ministry interrogators are depriving her of medical treatment and in response to her protest, she was told, “We will make you die like a dog.”
“Negar has no ruling issued against her and we just don’t know why they have kept her behind bars this entire time. She has no information either. In response to our follow-ups, each time they just tell us to go home and we will inform you but in the end there is no clear answer,” said Negar’s mother.
In yet another incident, a group of prisoners affiliated to the regime attacked Negar and viciously beat her on October 27, 2014. As a result, she suffered severe injuries, including major damages to one of her eyes. The prisoners mentioned above, carry out the orders of the prison warden and the head of the prison’s intelligence chief to attack and crackdown on other prisoners. They are rewarded by being permitted to purchase narcotics.
In addition, the mullahs’ Ministry of Intelligence expelled Ms. Haeri from work in late October.
Golrokh Ibrahimi Iraii
Golrokh Ibrahimi Iraei and her husband Arash Sadeghi, Omid Ali Shenas, Navid Kamrani and Arash Musivand were arrested by security forces in Tehran and transferred to an unknown location on September 4, 2014.
Security forces searched the homes and confiscated all their personal belongings, including computers and books. All of these individuals were arrested once during the 2009 unrests in Iran.
Golrokh Iraei, was detained in ward 2-A of the Revolutionary Guards Prison for at least three weeks. The Iranian regime’s courts specified a bail of 800 million rials (around $270,000) for her on charges of ‘Facebook activities’ and her family tried to gather and pay the money.
The second session of court hearings for Arash Sadeghi and Golrokh Ibrahimi was held on Tuesday, July 21 while Ibrahimi was not present due to being hospitalized after undergoing surgery. According to the presented medical documents these hearings should have been postponed for Ibrahimi, but Judge Salavati and the public prosecutor representative disagreed. The charges were read out and the prosecution convened in absentia
The Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran reported on November 5, 2014 that Narges Mohammadi, deputy chair and spokeswoman of this entity, had been summoned to the second branch of interrogation in Tehran’s Evin Prison.
Ms. Mohammadi reported to branch 2 of Evin Prison’s Public Prosecutor office on the morning of November 9. She was interrogated by agents of the notorious Ministry of Intelligence for six hours. She had to answer to fifty questions brought before her. Most of the questions were about her campaign to end executions in Iran and also her presence in the ceremony marking the anniversary of Sattar Beheshti’s murder.
On October 30, 2014 at a ceremony marking the second anniversary of the murdered blogger, Sattar Beheshti, Narges Mohammadi made the following remarks in reference to his ‘torture’ while in detention, “How is it that today in the parliament, members have raised a bill on ‘Promoting Virtue and Prohibiting Vice”, yet it has been two years that his mother cries at this grave and shouts Sattar, Sattar? Why haven’t we heard anything from the agents ‘prohibiting vice’?” Ms. Mohammadi had also participated in a rally outside the Iranian regime’s Parliament, in Tehran on October 22, 2014 along with a number of other civil activists protesting the acid attacks in Isfahan. After meeting with former EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, Narges Mohammadi had received warnings on April 30, 2014 banning her from leaving the country. (Catherine Ashton in her trip to Iran on March 8, 2014, marking Women’s Day, met with Narges Mohammadi and Gohar Eshghi – mother of Sattar Beheshti – at the Austrian Embassy in Tehran.) In 2011 Narges Mohammadi was first condemned to 11 years prison on charges of ‘propaganda against the state’ and ‘membership in a human rights center’. The ruling was reduced to six years in jail in March 2012. Ms. Mohammadi was transferred to Evin Prison and then Zanjan Prison in 2012 to serve her time. However, she was freed on a 6 billion rial bail in July 2012, due to her illness. Nargis Mohammad was last arrested on April 21while at her father’s home in Zanjan (northwestern Iran), and then transferred to Evin Prison. She was scheduled to appear in court on July 6. However, the court session was cancelled with no reasons provided at all. Subsequently, the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) raised new allegations in her court dossier and requested the “utmost punishment”. On July 17 her 8-year old twin kids, Ali and Kiyana, left Iran while their mother remains in prison. Mohammadi wrote a letter depicting the harassment she has suffered in prison, and simulating the hardship of being separated from her children to the mother of Moses sending her son into the Nile. On July 29 Mohammadi’s husband reported this human rights activist is in dire conditions in prison. Mohammadi is suffering from lung embolism and she needs to take necessary medication. However, head of Evin Prison’s clinic is refusing to provide her the special medication she needs. Despite calls by various international dignitaries and organizations for Mohammadi’s release, including Amnesty International on May 8, she remains behind bars and in dire conditions as we speak, and has been deprived of even her basic rights.
Nasrin Sotudeh, lawyer and human rights activist, intended to continue her protest outside the Bar Association on International Human Rights Day but was arrested and detained for several hours. “While I was going to my place of protest with my husband we were stopped. Both of us were arrested without any warrants, and were taken to an intelligence office,” she said in an interview with Radio France International. “The interrogations mainly focused on today’s protest marking International Human Rights Day, to which the interrogators were protesting, while this is the legal right of all citizens.” On March 30, 2014 Nasrin Sotudeh was illegally arrested by the Dezful Intelligence Department. She was ordered to show up in 1 hour at the MOIS. Sotudeh was previously arrested on September 4, 2010 and sentenced by an initial court to 11 years in jail, 20 years banned from practicing law, and a 20-year travel ban. After painstaking efforts her sentence was decreased to six years in jail and a 10-year ban from practicing law.
Zeinab Jalalian was first arrested by MOIS agents in Kermanshah (western Iran) and sentenced to death by a so-called revolution court on charges of being in contact with Kurdish parties. Her sentence was then decreased to life in jail. Through the span of 7 years in jail until 2014 this political prisoner has been deprived of any family visits. Being deprived of necessary medical treatment, despite intense kidney pains and her eye illness, are other means of pressure imposed on this political prisoner. Amnesty International issued an URGENT ACTION statement on July 16, 2014 entitled, “…” calling for measures to see to Jalalian’s conditions.
A third year student of agriculture at Tehran University (Abureihan campus) and editor of Today’s Talk students’ magazine was interrogated for the second time by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) Pursuing Bureau and threatened to be expelled if she continues her activities. Maryam Hanifi’s parents were also summoned and threatened in person and by telephone during the recent days for their daughter’s activities. In her absence, the University Disciplinary Committee prevented her from enjoying the scholarship and university’s dormitory for two terms.
Despite promises made by Hassan Rouhani about a more open atmosphere in Iran for youths and college students to take part in various activities, a number of youths were arrested and thrown to jail in the very first 3 months of Rouhani’s tenure. Afsaneh Bayazidi is one such case. She was arrested on November 17, 2013 along with her brother at her home. MOIS agents transferred both of them to unknown locations.
She had been previously accused of ‘cooperating with a Kurdish opposition group’ along with her brother, Shahoo. They were both arrested and she was sentenced to two years prison while her brother received a six-month sentence. They were eventually released on a 100 million rial bail. Later, Afsaneh Bayazidi’s father was told by Intelligence Ministry agents that she was transferred to an IRGC base outside the city on Shahindej Road. However, when he showed up at the place and made inquiries on Afsaneh, he was told that his daughter was not there and they were not informed of her arrest. On July 29, 2014, Ms. Ameneh Darwishi, Afsaneh’s 65-year old mother, waited for nearly five hours outside Bukan’s Intelligence Department to get information on her whereabouts to visit her daughter. However, security agents insulted her and forced her away.
Arrested for family’s beliefs
Ziba Mohammadian, wife of Mohammad Ali Taheri a prisoner of conscience who is detained in Evin Prison, was arrested in her home on July 2, 2014. “She was arrested by two women and three men and transferred to Evin Prison. The agents also searched her home and confiscated her laptop, a number of mobile phones and CCU cameras inside her home,” an informed source said. It is noteworthy that the attack came after a letter was posted on internet written by Mohammad Ali Taheri to Ahmed Shaheed, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran. (Hrana, July 5, 2014)
Mrs. Fatemeh Mosana, was sentenced to 15 years prison in the 26th branch of the revolutionary court. Fatemeh and her husband, Hassan Sadeghi, had been arrested in February 2013. The couple were charged with holding a memorial ceremony for Sadeghi’s father, who passed away in Camp Liberty, Iraq, as a result of the medical siege imposed by the Iraqi government. They spent one year in Evin Prison. During this period they were sent to solitary confinement, faced psychological and physical torture and were temporary released in February 2014 after paying a heavy bail.
Agents of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence stormed into the residence of some members of the ‘Right and Justice Organization’ in the city of Karaj, west of Iran, on April 9, 2014 severely beating many. Somaye Khalili and Mahin Sayar Sharabi were amongst those arrested, and were in detention in solitary confinement of Gohardasht Prison under interrogation for a period of 120 days. The interrogations were carried out with torture with electric shockers, humiliating the prisoners by forcing them to take off their clothes, severely beating and insulting them. After forging court cases against them, the regime agents had them transferred to the Kachubi Fardis Prison in Karaj on August 6, 2015. According to incoming reports, they are charged with membership in a society or branch associations formed with the objective of disrupting the country’s security.
(NCRI Women’s Committee – August 23, 2014)
Women taking part in any social activites is considered a crime by the mullahs. As a result arbitraty arrests against women are not limited to any specific spectrum.
In August 2014, Atena Farghadani, painter and children’s rights activist, had been arrested on unknown charges. No news of her whereabouts was released.
She also went on hunger strike for 20 days protesting not having access to a lawyer, being deprived of phone calls with her family and her continued illegal detention in solitary confinement.
Two months later, with her health deteriorating due to the hunger strike, she paid a heavy bail to be temporarily released until her court hearings. During this short period she continued her social activities and on December 6 she wrote in her Facebook page:
“I work to defend child laborers across my country. 36 years has passed …and we must not be afraid of paying a price. Unfortunately, we have become timid! We must accept the fact that to gain anything, we have to pay a price… if we stay like this, Judge Salavati (a notorious Iranian regime’s judge) will have every right to sit in his post and summarize the sacred values under the authority of ‘one individual’ and hit us on the head with it!”
In a clip released on the internet in late December, Atena talked about details of her detention and interrogation. She revealed that the authorities placed cameras in the women’s’ toilets and baths. She also revealed that while on hunger strike, she was forcibly stripped of her clothes and searched violently because the guards had watched her through the cameras and had seen her take two paper cups for drawing. Atena said that she still has nightmares about being exposed while using a bathroom and she only reveals these details hoping that it never happens to another prisoner.
Atena Faraghdani has been summoned soon. While being ordered to appear in the regime’s court on January 10, 2015, Faraghdani wrote in her Facebook page, “This time I will be sitting in the defendant chair with pride and I will read out my defense to a person who has maintained his position for over 25 years. Khamenei, what you describe as propaganda against the state, I view as soothing men and women that have seen their children gunned down in 2009. What you describe as actions against national security and staging gatherings and collusion with a sinister sect, I describe as supporting men and women that have been deprived of their basic rights to higher education for the ‘crime’ of being Baha’i … If there is truly such a strength and security in your ‘Revolutionary Guards’, why didn’t you use them to arrest the murderers of the ‘Nedas, Sohrabs and Sattars’!!… Come and let us lean on our own trees, because tomorrow no one else will respond to our measures other than our own consciences before all those of our time who chose to remain silent. This in itself is a major and unforgivable crime.”
However, the court hearing was not held and, Atena was literally beaten before her parents’ eyes and thus transferred to Qarchak Varamin Prison without a court ruling.
She continues to suffer from medical problems after she spent two months in jail, with illnesses such as blood infection and an injury in her left arm.
“Free Atena Faraghdani” Facebook page wrote: Honor student, artist and child’s rights activist Atena Faraghdani had a phone call with her family at 9 am on January 13, 2015 where she announced her imminent hunger strike in an unsteady voice.
Faraghdani has been on hunger strike since February 9, protesting inhumane conditions imposed on female prisoners in Gharchak Prison in Varamin (southeast of Tehran), the transfer of political prisoners to Gharchak Prison and demanding her immediate return to Evin Prison. On June 3 Amnesty International issued an URGENT ACTION statement under her name stipulating the sentence of more than 12 years in prison “is a terrible injustice and violation of her rights to freedom of expression and association”.
This imprisoned cartoon artist has received the CRNI 2015 “Courage in Cartooning” award.
This Iranian artist-activist was jailed for drawing and posting a cartoon protesting a proposed bill by Iran’s so-called parliament restricting women’s rights and birth control measures.
Faraghdani was tried by the 15th branch of the so-called Islamic revolution court and found guilty of “assembly and collusion against national security”, “propaganda activist against the system”, “insulting the leader, president, MPs and agents of the Revolutionary Guards ward 2A during interrogation.” Farghadani was sentenced to 12 years and nine months in prison. The Courage in Cartooning award will be presented to Farghadani in absentia by CRNI founder and Executive Director Dr. Robert Russell in Columbus, Ohio, on September 5, at an evening event during the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists 2015 convention.
Atena Daemi a 26-year-old social and anti-child labor activist was arrested on the morning of October 21, 2014 at her home and taken to an unknown location. The IRGC’s intelligence agents searched her home and confiscated her belongings, including her computer. There is no information about the reason to Atena’s arrest and the charges against her.
In her last phone call in early December, she threatened to launch a hunger strike if her situation remains undetermined. Despite the end of her interrogation process. The judge has not accepted Atena’s lawyer, depriving her of the basic right of representation. There is no information about her next hearing.
Atena has been under pressure in solitary confinement for at least three months, to confess having connections with Mr. Ahmed Shaheed. She had been arrested for alleged propaganda against the state, connections with foreigners and carrying out activities against national security. She was told by the Iranian regime’s judge that she would be sent to the notorious Qarchak Varamin Prison, unless she accepts the charges. Ms. Daemi is suffering from dermatological problems as a result of the unsanitary prison conditions and a lack of sunlight. However, judiciary officials deny her medical treatment.
The preliminary court announced its ruling on Daemi on June 1. This civil and child rights activist was sentenced to 14 years in prison, shocking her and her family and relatives. On July 4 Daemi was transferred from prison to Tehran’s Sadeghiye clinic due to physical problems. Agents harassed her and her family during this transfer as eyewitnesses said the agents handcuffed Daemi and did not allow her to speak with her family. Her mother stipulated agents shoved and prevented her from even hugging her own daughter.
Manizheh Sadeghi, women and child’s rights activist was arrested at her home in Sanandaj by the Iranian regime’s plainclothes agents. Marzieh’s children were taken to an unknown location to be used as pressure against her. Agents confiscated books, a computer and mobile phone from her house. Sadeghi was arrested in 2010 on charges of “disrupting public order” through political activities and spent three months in prison.
Three Kurdish women, students of Tehran University, Shilan and Kowsar Rahmanipour from Bukan, and Chanur Abbasi from Sanandaj were arrested in Tehran in early January. Ministry of Intelligence agents stormed into their residence, arrested and transferred them to an unknown location. The women were active in defending the rights of female Kurdish political prisoners. The three women are amongst 21 Kurdish students and civil activists who wrote complaint letters to the regime’s parliament and Khamenei regarding the inhumane conditions of female prisoners, demanding their release.
Women’s rights activists
Kurdish poet Simin Chaychi, a resident of Sanandaj (western Iran), was summoned and interrogated by Sanandaj’s MOIS Bureau on March 3, 2014. An unidentified source said: “MIOS banned Simin Chaychi of any activity related to International Women Day.” Simin Chaychi, was born in 1956 in Sanandaj and has already published numerous series of stories, plays for children and poems.
MOIS agents in the city of Sanandaj arrested a women’s rights activist, Maryam Nasseri and transferred her to an undisclosed location. Maryam is a member of the ‘campaign supporting women without guardians and the oppressed’. Also in recent days, two sisters, members of the ‘campaign supporting women without guardians and the oppressed’ by the names of Somayeh and Shala Allah Vaisi were threatened by security organs to be arrested and there is no news of them now.
Nassrin Hosseini, a civil activist in Bukan was summoned to the intelligence department on August 20, 2014. She was summoned on charges of staging gathering in support of the displaced families in Shengal, along with a number of other female activists. Nasrin was interrogated and threatened to be fired from her job.
Maryam Sadat Yahyavi, a civil activist, was arrested at her home by security agents on November 2, 2014 and transferred to an unknown location. She is suffering from advanced cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The detention places her life in danger.
Revolutionary Guard intelligence forces arrested a number of women rights activists while summoning or threatening many others in Tehran. It is said these measures are taken to prevent activists from holding any rallies protesting recent acid attacks.
Journalist and former student activist Zahra Khandan and student activist Soha Mortezaii are among those arrested. They were detained on January 19 at their residents in Tehran and there is no information of their whereabouts so far.
Women rights activists arrested in Tehran
Civil activist Neda Mostaghimi, a supporter of the ‘Mothers of Lale Park’ movement in Tehran, was arrested at her office by security agents on May 5. She was previously arrested in 2011 on charges of taking part in a gathering staged by protesters arrested in the 2010 uprising.
Arrest of civil activist supporting martyrs families
In a report published in US National Radio (NPR) website, reporter Deborah Amos explained her three-hour arrest in Tehran by the ‘Guidance Patrol’.
In the detention center she had seen girls and women who were arrested either along with their boyfriends or because of their clothing.
The daughter of her Iranian translator was arrested by the Guidance Patrol. While they were taping an interview in Tehran Mr. Saremi’s phone rang and he was informed that his 24 years old daughter was arrested. Deborah wrote, “This came at a time that just a few hours ago Mr. Saremi told me that these kinds of arrests have decreased under Rouhani and Rouhani has advised the Guidance Patrols to refrain from arresting young boys and girls. While outraged, Saremi speaks with Moral Security Police telling them that her daughter has done nothing wrong. The American reporter taped this conversation for two minutes. Another agent saw the taping and arrested her. Deborah wrote: “I told them that I was a reporter and I had permit for what I do. I showed it to them but the agent said that I should give him my recorder otherwise they will contact the embassy (Swiss Embassy) to deliver me to them. I was worried about the reports I had recorded. I was worried that the police might get hold of them. At the end using a detainee’s headphone a female police made sure that I erased the two minutes dialogue and then they let me go.”
The Washington Post said yesterday that it had received “credible reports” that its Tehran correspondent Jason Rezaian had been arrested, together with his Iranian journalist wife Yeganeh Salehi. Rezaian, 38, who has dual US and Iranian nationalities, has been in post in Tehran since 2012. His wife works for the newspaper The National, based in the United Arab Emirates.
Also detained was a female Iranian-American photojournalist, whose identity her family did not wish to disclose. She was reported to work for several news organizations including the Washington Post. Her husband, who is not a journalist, was also arrested. With 65 journalists in prison – five of them foreign nationals — Iran is one of the world’s top five prisons for those working in news and information. According to information received by Reporters Without Borders, all four were arrested at the same time by plain-clothes police officers at their homes two days ago. No official reason was given for the arrests or on whose authority they were detained, and it was not known where they were being held.
Reza Moïni, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan desk, said, “These journalists are accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and are working legally in Iran”. He added: “Arbitrary arrests, illegal summonses, for example by intelligence officers of the Revolutionary Guards, are a daily reality for journalists in Iran.” (Reporters Without Borders- Jul. 26, 2014)
A cultural activist in the city of Karaj was summoned to Evin prison to serve her prison term. Last January Parvin Zandi was sentenced to one year imprisonment with punishment on charges of ‘propagating against national security’. The sentence was issued by branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court headed by Judge Salavati. (Kurdpa news agency- May. 3, 2014)
Massumeh Qolizadeh, student of philosophy in Turkey was arrested and taken for interrogation by security agents of the Iranian regime on May 12, 2014, simultaneous with her return to Iran. This former student activist is still in custody and there is no information on her condition. Her only brief contact with her family was on the 9th day of her detention when she informed them about her deteriorating health condition.
Qolizadeh spent 18 days in solitary confinement of the Ministry of Intelligence. In the month of October, she was condemned to ten months in jail on charges of ‘propaganda against the establishment’.
State security forces (SSF) arrested a woman in the city of Karaj while singing and playing live music. Colonel Hossein Zangi, the deputy SSF chief in Alborz province said, “A man accompanied her while she was arrested.” (Reporters state-run Club – July 22, 2014)
Iranian filmmaker Tahmineh Milani was summoned to the Culture and Media Parquet in mid-January, for the publication of a screenplay named “Shahrzad, a woman of 1,001 nights”. This book was published under the permit of the Ministry of Culture and has undergone all legal steps for publication, according to Milani.
“The charge raised in this summon has been propaganda against the state. This screenplay is the epic story of a woman who resorts to wisdom, understanding and art to fight violence and bloodshed,” Milani said. Milani had spent 8 days in Evin Prison 12 years ago for “acting against national security, acting against God, cooperation with dissident groups and distorting public opinion”.
Zahra Kaabi, and six men all cyber activists, were arrested on 27 July, by the Iranian state security forces at a cultural art center in Mashad. Their whereabouts have not been disclosed to the families, despite all the efforts.
Ms. Nahid GorjiIn was arrested on the night October 11, 2014 by security forces in Mashhad and transferred her to an unknown location. “The agents came in the middle of the night and used force to enter the house and arrest her. After transferring her they returned and confiscated personal items including computers, telephones and even her photo camera after inspecting the home. She was transferred to the Kuh-e Sangi revolution court on 12 October, yet we have no information about the allegations raised against her. We just know that she was active in social media,” said a close friend.
Later, the mullahs’ regime’s judiciary issued a 4,000 billion Rial (About 1.3 million US dollars) bail for her release. A person close to Nahid said, “This amount of bail for Gorji’s family is very heavy and is in no way proportionate to the charges brought against her”.
In mid-December, five theosophy teachers, including Aida Izadi, Mitra Goudarzi and Ana Massoumi, Koorosh Soleimani and Adel Shirjang were arrested when security forces raided their classes in Kish Island. The suppressive forces confiscated their books, CDs and other educational supplies. Though the officials have not given any information about their allegations, they did demand heavy bails from their families for their release.
Authorities began arresting women and youths in groups just one month after Rouhani’s cabinet came into office under lies of bringing about “change” regarding women’s status. Guidance Patrol agents disrupted and cancelled a Tehran concert on September 16, 2013. They arrested the young men and women in groups and transferred them to another location with Guidance Patrol vans.
In March 2014, nearly 150 young Kurdish girls and boys were arrested by the city’s police in a gathering in Sanandaj (western Iran). There is no news of their names and the reason of the massive arrest. Those arrested were all under 30 and according to the reports, the gathering was on the eve of March 8. Many women advocates were summoned by security and judicial centers and threatened not to hold any ceremonies for International Women’s Day in Sanandaj during recent days. Simin Cheichi, Susan Razani, Khalid and Qaleb Hosseini, Mozaffar Salehnia and Khalil Karimi were among threatened activists.
In the same month, SSF Commander of Mazandaran (northern Iran), Massoud Jafari announced that 13 young girls and boys were arrested in a mixed night party. Jafari said, “Most of those arrested are from Tehran and Rasht, and were invited by the villa owner through the internet.”
In late May 2014, Deputy Governor in social and disciplinary affairs in Fardis Township told Jame Jam, “State Security Forces and Bassij forces set out to the area and entered the building possessing a warrant after reporting to the city’s prosecutor’s office. They arrested 18 women and 34 men who were attending the party and transferred them to the police center.
In June 2014, the Guidance police (the Iranian regime’s so-called Islamic culture and guidance unit) entered Honar University to arrest a female student. Simultaneously, the university’s security used tear spray and injured a number of students. This is the first time that the Guidance patrol have entered a university to arrest a student because of mal-veiling and resorted to such violence when faced with the students’ resistance. According to eyewitnesses, one of the agents who was more violent against the students was an individual called Hamid Ibrahimi.
On August 6, 2015 oppressive state agents stopped various young women and arrested them for improper clothing outside a metro station in Tehran. One of the young ladies shouted in anger: “Every person has her own rights.”
Mohammad Massoud Zahedeiyan, head of the moral police in Iran, referred to the fact that each year the police carries out repressive measures at beaches in the three provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan in northern Iran. “This year (2014), by increasing the capacity of the police and by stationing elements of this force, 722 lawbreakers have been introduced to judicial authorities.”
This is while he shamefully admitted in this very speech, “From the beginning of implementing this plan 44 individuals have drowned in the beaches of Gilan and Mazandaran.”
In September 2014, repressive state security forces detained 44 men and women attending a ‘mixed gender’ party in city of Fereydunkenar in the northern Iranian province of Mazandaran. The commander of police in the city said, “Police successfully conducted an operation in which 44 people were arrested.”
On 12 September, while people were standing outside Farhang Cinema in Tehran to watch a movie, Guidance patrol agents attempted to arrest two girls. People prevented the arrest. The agents eventually left the scene, but arrested 4 other girls nearby.
On 14 November a young man and woman in the city of Khorram Abad were sitting in a car talking when a plainclothes agent and a member of the State Security Forces on a motorcycle stopped beside their vehicle and began harassing them. They forced the two out of their vehicle questioning their relationship. They were transferred to an unknown location.
On January 15, 2015 Basij intelligence forces in Mashhad raided a party and arrested 84 people, including 35 women while they were dancing together.
On the same day, twenty young boys and girls were arrested at a party in the city of Amol in northern Iran. The Revolutionary Guards security forces raided the party and arrested all 20 attendants.
In May there was another example of group arrests in east Tehran. Authorities raided a night party and arrested 89 people, 47 of which were women.
The month of July witnessed two more cases of group arrests. 50 youths, 26 of whom were young women, were arrested for participating in a night party staged at an orchard near the city of Dezful.
Another cases were in the month of Ramadan when 92 youths were arrested in a coffee shop in Tabriz. Authorities had arrested these youths under the pretext of “eating or drinking during fasting hours”. 41 of these arrested youths were young women.
Prison conditions in Iran under the mullahs are in line with no international standards and laws. Women are thrown behind bars for very simple or ambiguous crimes and face sufferings, intense pressures and unknown fates. In the mullah’s judicial system Ministry of Intelligence interrogators and torturers are behind methods used against prisoners. Their objective is forcing prisoners to suffer as much as possible to break their will, and bring them to confess against themselves based on the authorities demand and finally leave them with no resolve in standing firm.
In this regard the Reporters Without Borders issued a report titled: “During President Rouhani’s 100 days in office no development in freedoms”, wrote: the Reporters Without Borders is very disappointed by President Hassan Rouhani’s record on freedom of information during his first 100 days in office… Rouhani repeatedly said during his campaign that “all the political prisoners should be released.” Nonetheless, Iran continues to be one of the world’s biggest prisons… (Reporters Without Borders)
The truth is that currently a large number of women in the mullahs’ prisons and detention centers are victims of poverty and being very deprived due to the circumstances that the ruling regime has enforced on them.
A government official by the name of Mohammad Ali Sari admitted to this matter and said currently there are 200 female prisoners with unintentional crimes held in prisons across the country. These women are mostly in jail for financial crimes and being unable to pay their debts. (State-run Asr-e Iran daily – July 6, 2015)
General Prison Conditions:
In a shocking suppressive act, Evin prison authorities removed meat and breakfast from the food program of female political prisoners. The prison’s food had already been dreadful and insufficient and most prisoners in the ward suffer from health problems caused by brutal tortures and are deprived of effective medical treatment.
There are currently 23 political prisoners in Evin Prison’s women’s ward. They are not even allowed to have phone calls with their families.
Mashhad women’s prison
Ward 5 of Mashhad’s Vakilabad Central Prison is designated for prisoners with various religious beliefs. The ward is approximately a 30 meter square room, including a bathroom and a shower. Currently, this room has been assigned to 6 Baha’i women. Five of these inmates have been given 5 year sentences and the other has been sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment. The charges for each woman are ‘acting against national security’ and ‘propaganda against the Islamic republic’ through the practice of Baha’i faith and spiritual activities. Discriminatory conditions are imposed on this ward by the prison’s officials. The prisoners have only one hour sometime during early mornings to use the gym and are allowed to leave their room for about an hour and half during afternoons. The door is otherwise locked in all other hours. The inmates are deprived of the rights that other prisoners may have. They are deprived of access to the prison’s library. They do not have the right to speak or communicate with other prisoners. During the hours which they are permitted to use the gym or can go out for some fresh air, all other inmates are evacuated from the respective areas. They have been completely isolated. The reason for their imprisonment is unclear to other inmates. If they accidentally run into women while shopping at the prison’s store or at the telephone booth, they will receive punishments.
These inmates are also deprived of the right of having leaves. The prosecutor only implements the orders of Mashhad’s intelligence department.
Kerman Central Prison
According to prisoners, prison hygiene and services in Kerman Central Prison’s women ward is extremely awful and no official is taking any measure to solve this matter. Over 380 women detained in this ward are in dire conditions. During the month of Ramadan and with the hot summer, women suffered many illnesses yet no official was held accountable. There is no effective medical treatment or adequate food in the prison and detainees are in inhumane conditions.
Qarchak Prison in Varamin
Gharchak Varamin Prison is actually a deserted henhouse consisting of 10 warehouses turned into a women’s detention center after 2011.The number of prisoners in warehouse #4 is around 270 individuals, while there are only 90 beds in this location and it doesn’t have a larger capacity. There is no area to sit and eat a meal.
10 mothers are imprisoned in hall #8, 10 of which are currently pregnant. There are also 20 small children and infants from two days old to three years of age.
Hall #1 is allocated for death row prisoners currently numbering at 63. Prison authorities transfer individuals to this hall in order to harass them or separate them from other prisoners and/or place them under 24/7 surveillance. Death row prisoners consume a type of medicine that is usually given to dogs. They are usually very groggy, inactive and asleep most of the times. This hall is known as the ‘Dead Hall’.
The prisoners are all deprived of any heating or cooling appliances. This prison has no running water. The chlorine level of the water, brought with tankers, is so high that it has bleached all colors of the prisoners’ clothing. The water is very salty and bitter and 90% of the prisoners are forced to drink this water as they are financially unable to purchase any bottled water. Most hours of the day there is no hot water. All the halls have a total of 12 bathrooms that are very dirty and low on hygiene.
The prison food is very low quality. At times the prisoners are given only one type of food to the prisoners for three consecutive months. The existing grain in the food is always uncooked. The prison store has nothing edible for the prisoners to buy. When sleeping at nights the lights do not go off. The prisoners are all cut off from the outside world. Families are not allowed to provide clothing for the prisoners, while AIDS and Hepatitis is running rampant amongst the prisoners. Various types of narcotics are very abundant and easily sold. Prisoners are searched very rigorously on their entrance into the prison and directly taken to the quarantine section for four nights. The prison clinic provides no kind of medical care for the prisoners. A dentist comes only once every three months and an ophthalmologist once every six months. The prisoners themselves are forced to provide for the costs of medical care.
Another report from this detention center points to the mistreatment of female inmates and writes:
Female inmates in Qarchak Prison are deprived of basic facilities and are under the constant harassment of prison guards. Many of the ordinary prisoners say that they are being sexually abused in prison. The prison’s hygienic conditions are horrible. The prison’s potable water comes from a well and a lot of chlorine is used in it, which makes it unusable. The prisoners have no choice but to drink the water, which infects them with various diseases. Most of the female prisoners suffer mal-nutrition.
The 19 June 2015 report that came out of this prison states: It has been four days since the water of Gharchak Prison in Varamin, southeast of Tehran, has been cut off and the female prisoners are deprived of showers and using the restrooms.
Women in this prison are detained in warehouses that lack any ventilation or A/C devices. Held in large numbers, they cannot even breathe easily while the high summer heat has made conditions extremely intolerable. There is literally no privacy for the women in these warehouses and the prisoners use their clothing and minimum supplies to create separate a specific area for themselves.
The regime’s officials have also begun using loudspeakers since Thursday, June 18 threatening the prisoners with lashing if they are seen eating or drinking during the fasting hours of Ramadan.
The Urumiyeh Prison is a prison that holds female inmates.
An informed source reported vermin and various insects have been seen in the women’s ward of Urumieh prison, and in one a prisoner was literally bitten.
Urumieh prison officials’ neglecting to hygiene standards and any cleansing measures in this prison on one hand, and restrictions imposed on prisoners not allowing them to go to the prison clinic, have all raised various problems for the women’s ward in this prison.
Long-Term Prison Sentences:
Zahra Zehtabchi, 45, a senior sociology expert and social sciences researcher and mother of two young kids was arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence on October 16, 2013 along with her husband Dr. Seyed Javad Khoshniat. Her husband was released three weeks later. She remained in solitary confinement in Evin Prison’s women ward for at least 12 months and she has lost a lot of weight. Being held incommunicado for a long period and tolerating severe psychological and physical torture has caused a lot of serious physical disorders for her. She is under immense pressure imposed by Alavi, an interrogator of the Ministry of Intelligence. The first session of her court hearings was held on August 11, 2013. However, it remains unclear what charges have been raised against her.
In late September, she announced that if the pressures continue, she will go on hunger strike. The MOIS interrogators had made-up fabricated cases against her and have issued a heavy verdict for her. However, since her case is actually empty, Salavati, also known as the ‘death judge’, has returned her case to the MOIS and since then she has been under the pressures of the interrogators to give a television confession.
Interrogators have also threatened her family that going public about her conditions will have serious consequences. She had been deprived from any contact or visit with her family. The efforts by Zahra’s family to obtain information on her conditions have only resulted in them being insulted continuously and being sent numerous times from Evin Prison to Evin prosecutor’s office, to the judiciary and back.
Mrs. Zehtabchi had previously been arrested in 2009 after conducting a poll in Tehran University on people’s opinion over the disputed 10th presidential elections in Iran that brought Ahmadinejad back into power for another term of four years. She was arrested by Tehran security police and released a few days later.
Mr. Ali Asghar Zehtabchi, Zahra’s father, was a well-known Tehran bazaar merchant. He was a father of four children who were executed in 1981 for supporting the PMOI. He was charged with participating in the June 20, 1981 demonstration despite the fact that he was arrested on June 9, 1981 and was in the regime’s custody on the day of the demonstration. However, he was executed without the slightest legal procedures and without his family being previously informed. His family learned of his execution through the news on television. Zahra Zehtabchi was 13 when her father was executed.
Kurdish political activist Mahnaz Hakimi, arrested back in June 2013, remains detained in limbo in Orumieh Central Prison (West Azerbaijan Province). She was transferred to this prison after spending three months in the Ministry of Intelligence’s detention center. The charges raised against her include having relations with a Kurdish party.
Preventing Medical Care:
Mrs. Hakimeh Shokri, a female political prisoner has been transferred to Qarchak prison, after she protested the appalling conditions at Evin’s women’s ward.
She was arrested on October 22, 2012 in Tehran’s Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery for taking part in a memorial ceremony held for Amir Arshad Tajmir, a martyr of the 2009 uprisings. Shokri was sentenced to three years prison on charges of activities against national security and propaganda against the establishment. She has been in Evin prison since despite the fact that her actual ‘crime’ is for supporting grieving mothers and being sympathetic to the families of political prisoners, which she has admitted to and defended herself for.
Qarchak prison has been described as hell on earth, where inmates have expressed they would rather be executed than live in those conditions.
Hakimeh was suddenly transferred to this prison while her prison term was coming to an end. “Hakimeh is being held in the worst conditions, along with addicted criminals, smugglers and murderers,” said her sister Zahra Shokri. “The circumstances are so bad that words cannot describe it. She only eats the food to remain alive. She is currently suffering from an eye illness and must have a warm water bag to lessen the pains. She has requested to be transferred to a ward that has medical supplies, but has been rejected. They keep on passing us from one office to another, just making us go in circles looking for her.”
Motahareh Bahrami, a political prisoner, hospitalized in March 2014 in a hospital in the city of Karj as she was on the verge of becoming paralyzed. She was hospitalized some time ago for a few days but was returned to prison without finishing her treatment. She is suffering from back pain and has serious problems while walking.
Motahareh Bahrami who is a relative of Camp Liberty residents was arrested on the holy day of Ashura during the 2009 uprisings in Iran along with her husband and son, Mohsen and Ahmad Daneshpour Moqaddam and her daughter-in law, Reyhaneh Haj Ibrahim. They are all currently held in Evin Prison facing execution and long term prison sentences on alleged charges of ‘enmity against God’ and ‘acting against national security’.
For two months now Motahareh’s husband, Mohsen Daneshpoor Moqadam, 71, is suffering from Alzheimer to an extent that he is not able to recognize the place and time along with many other physical and psychological problems.
Motahhareh Bahrami is suffering from extended rheumatoid arthritis throughout her body, which has limited her movement and has resulted in joint pain and swelling. This is in addition to the long term problems with her lumbar intervertebral. The prison physicians have determined that Ms. Bahrami cannot tolerate imprisonment. However, authorities are refusing to allow her to receive medical care.
Khamenei’s authorities are also depriving political prisoner Reyhaneh Haj Ibrahim, from receiving medical treatments of any sort. She is currently suffering from neuralgia in the back and legs along with internal stomach bleeding.
Kurdish political prisoner Zeinab Jalalian has been experiencing eye problems and blurred vision in Kermanshah prison. Nevertheless, the General Prosecutor of Kermanshah province has refused to allow her to undergo surgery. Jalalian was arrested in 2007 in the western city of Kermanshah and has been prohibited from family visits ever since. Charged with ‘fighting against God’ and ‘membership in a Kurdish party’, she was initially sentenced to execution which was later changed to life in prison.
Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action statement on June 16, 2014 calling for measures to prevent this prisoner from losing her eyesight:
Zeinab Jalalian has had eye problems for a number of years, possibly as a result of beatings she received during interrogations by the Iranian authorities. Her health situation has worsened and she may be losing her eyesight. On 8 April, she was transferred to the prison clinic in handcuffs and shackles to receive treatment for her eyes, but the prison authorities have repeatedly refused to allow her access to an eye specialist outside of Kermanshah Prison. She was not granted access to a lawyer during her trial, which she says lasted only a few minutes. Zeinab Jalalian formally requested prison leave in January 2014, but she has said that the Iranian authorities have asked her to do a forced televised “confession”, which may be a prerequisite for prison leave but she has refused to do so. Also, on 8 July 2015, the physical condition of Zeinab Jalalian in the Kermanshah Prison turned for the worst. “She is in prison in Kermanshah,” her sister Deniz Jalalian says. “She has been in need of seeing a doctor for a very long, but authorities are not providing any such permission. She has already lost one eye, and both her eyes rely on each other and if she doesn’t undergo surgery she will go completely blind. It has been a year and a few months now that her family cannot go and see her, and again the authorities are not providing such permission. Her family asked to have the doctor go to see her in prison, but the authorities again did not allow it.”
“When they arrested her they literally banged her head to the wall. That’s where her eye suffered a blow,” she added.
Zeinab Jalalian, born in 1982, has been in prison in Kermanshah for 7 years and has not received any visits for the past year. (NCRI Women’s Committee – August 15, 2015)
Ms. Sedigheh Moradi, a political prisoner currently held in the women’s ward of Evin Prison, is suffering from neck arthritis and extreme bone pains along with vision problem. However, prison authorities are blocking her treatment in a hospital outside prison.
Sedigheh Moradi, 54, was arrested in April 2011 and condemned to 10 years prison. She was first arrested and tortured in the 1980s for supporting the PMOI. Authorities are especially showing hysteric opposition to prisoners supporting the PMOI. They say very bluntly that these prisoners will not be provided with any medical treatment.
Sedighe Moradi and Mahvash Shahriari, two political prisoners held in the women’s ward of Evin Prison, were sent to a hospital.
These two prisoners were sent from Evin Prison to Tehran’s Tajrish Hospital for MRI exams.
Fatemeh Rahnama, a prisoner of conscience in Ahvaz’s Sepidar Prison continues to be deprived of any leave to receive medical services out of prison. Ms. Rahnama is currently serving the fifth year of her 10-year jail term. At the time of her arrest, she was being treated by a specialist because of her psychological problems. And she was also suffering from cancer. She has been deprived of treatment in the past five years and she has been limited to rest in the prison’s clinic. Fatemeh Rahnama has been charged with having relations with the PMOI. She was jailed for three and a half years for similar charges back in the 1980s when she was 19-years-old. The Iranian judiciary system deliberately denies treatment to political prisoners with critical illnesses, often driving them to death in prison.
Prisoners on hunger strike:
In many cases, prisoners are left with no other choice but to go on hunger strike protesting the violation of their own rights and those of other prisoners. These prisoners, already facing various pressures for standing their ground against cruelty, sacrifice their most basic rights with not eating. Such stances and protests have time and again forced regime authorities to withdraw from their positions.
Kurdish political prisoner Maryam Moghadasi who is imprisoned in Evin Prison has been transferred to a hospital due to acute kidney illness. Maryam was arrested in 2010 for carrying out activities and creating propaganda against the establishment and for her collaboration with Kurdish parties. She was sentenced to 9 years in prison. She had gone on a hunger strike a few months ago in protest to dire prison conditions and the indifference of prison officials regarding her kidney illness.
Kurdish political prisoner Maryam Moghadasi who is imprisoned in Evin Prison has been transferred to a hospital outside prison due to intensification of her kidney illness. She had gone on a hunger strike a few months ago in protest to dire prison conditions and the indifference of prison officials regarding her kidney illness. Following the intensification of her illness and the indifference of prison officials, she was transferred to a hospital in Tehran. (NCRI Women’s Committee – Jan 3, 2015)
The physical condition of Afsaneh Bayazidi, a 28-year old student, who has been on hunger strike for 19 days, turned dire on 14 September. Afsaneh was transferred to hospital by undercover security agents. However, she was recognized by people. The security forces didn’t allow her family to visit her. Afsaneh was sentenced to 2 years of suspended imprisonment in March on charges of collaborating with a Kurdish party.
Female prisoners in Orumieh prison, joined political prisoners in other cities on their 12th day of hunger strike. The main demand of political prisoners was to have a separate ward for political prisoners and stop inhumane measures carried out against them. Prison officials cut off telephone lines to Orumieh prison since noon of November 29, 2014 to prevent information from leaking out about the hunger strike and stationed anti-riot units outside the prison.
Atena Faraghdani, Ghoncheh Ghavami in Evin’s ward 2-A, began a dry hunger strike since October 11, 2014. They had been on hunger strike since October 1 protesting her unclear status.
Amnesty International has issued an Urgent Action on the status of Ghoncheh Ghavami, stating, “British-Iranian woman Ghoncheh Ghavami has been on hunger strike since 1 October in protest at her prolonged detention and her lack of access to her lawyer. Ghoncheh Ghavami is a prisoner of conscience who must be released immediately and unconditionally.”
Political prisoner Atena Faraghdani detained in Gharchak Varamin Prison surpassed her third day on hunger strike. This civil activist started her protest on February 9 and she has only been drinking water during this period. She has described the reasons for her hunger strike as:
- Inhumane conditions for female prisoners, including ordinary and political prisoners in Gharchak Varamin.
- Transferring political prisoners including Negar Haeri, Hakime Shekari, Roya Saberinezhad and Basme Jabouri to Gharchak Varamin Prison.
- Protesting her own illegal transfer from Gharchak Varamin Prison and requesting to be returned to Evin Prison as soon as possible.
Iranian-British woman arrested during women rights protest
Ghoncheh Ghavami, 25, an Iranian-British woman was arrested for attempting to attend a men’s volleyball match. Police and security forces prevented women from attending the volleyball match on June 20, 2014, arresting a number of them, including Ghavami.
Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action statement calling for her release. The statement said, “She is a prisoner of conscience, arrested solely for taking part in a peaceful protest against the ban on women attending Volleyball World League matches in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium.” According to the rights group, Ghavami was arrested on June 30, 2014 when she went to Tehran’s Vozara Detention Center to collect her mobile phone. The mobile had been taken from her earlier on 20 June when she was arrested at a rally protesting the ban on women’s presence in sport events and was detained in Vozara Detention Centre for several hours. On June 30, 2014 plainclothes agents went with her to her house to confiscate her laptop and books, and then took her to Section 2A of Evin Prison, where she was kept in solitary confinement, without access to her family or lawyer for 41 days. She was subsequently transferred to a cell shared with social activist Atena Faraghdani.
Ghavami said interrogators placed her under psychological pressure during her prolonged solitary confinement, threatening to move her to Qarchak Varamin Prison in Varamin County of Tehran Province, where prisoners convicted of serious criminal offences are held in dismal conditions, and telling her that she “will not walk out of prison alive”.
The court hearings for Ghavami were held on October 14, 2014 behind closed doors in branch 26 of Tehran’s so-called Islamic revolution court. In September 2014 she was accused of “propaganda against the state”.
In early November 2014 the UK Foreign Office issued a statement saying, “We are concerned about reports that Ghoncheh Ghavami has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for ‘propaganda against the state’…We have concerns about the grounds for this prosecution, due process during the trial and Miss Ghavami’s treatment whilst in custody.”
Sheikh Ahmed al-Fah’d Al Sabah, President of the Asia Olympic Council, also demanded an explanation from the Iranian regime about Ghavami’s detention.
Prior to this, Ary Graça, President of the World Volleyball Federation delivered a speech before the heads of volleyball federations from countries across the globe describing the release of Ms. Ghavami as the “most important demand” of this body.
In mid-November, Ghavami was transferred to Qarchak Prison after enduring 129 days in temporary detention in Evin Prison. Ms. Ghavami was held in solitary confinement for the first 41 days of detention.
In late November, Ghoncheh’s mother picked her up at 3pm from Qarchak.
Preventing right of meeting and getting leave:
One of the leverages of pressures used against prisoners is cutting off their phone calls with family members and not granting them any leave.
Rozhin Paya and Qadrieh Qaderi, two female Kurd prisoners confined at Yassouj Central Prison’s ‘women ward’ are deprived of any visits and leaves. Qadrieh, 26, was arrested by security forces in northwestern city of Orumieh on mid-summer of 2011 and spent two months in solitary confinement and was charged with ‘disrupting national security’ and having ‘membership in a Kurdish party’. Qadrieh who is from Turkey’s Vun City in the Kurdistan region was sentenced to a 7-year hard-labor prison term and exile to Yassouj. Rozhin, from a village of Orumieh environs, was sentenced to a 6-year hard-labor prison term in 2011 and was charged with ‘membership and supporting a Kurdish opposition party’.
Political prisoner prison Maryam Akbari Monfared who is a relative of Camp Liberty residents, was denied visits with her imprisoned brother, Reza. Maryam is held in the female ward of Tehran’s Evin Prison.
Masoumeh Zia, arrested in a protest rally held by supporters of ‘Erfan Halghe’, has been transferred to the Revolutionary Guards intelligence ward in Evin Prison. She was detained before for taking part in a protest rally held by women in Tehran’s Haft-e Tir Square on July 13, 2006 and was condemned to one year prison. An informed source said she has been deprived of any telephone calls or visits with her relatives until her interrogations.
Long prison terms – Unknown Fates:
13-year-old Soghra Najafpour spent 25 years of her youth in prison and was only released at the age of 38. She was pardoned after the death of the murder victim’s father.
Soghra was imprisoned back in 1989 while she was only 13-years-old. She had previously been homeless for 8 years during the Iran-Iraq War.
Women’s rights activist Yalda Pazhuhesh, arrested on November 21, 2014 after the mullahs’ intelligence agents raided her home and arrested her with force, remained in limbo for at least ten days and her family was not able to determine her location.
Prior to this, Yalda had been arrested on November 26, 2012 for taking part in rallies marking International day to ‘Stop Violence against Women’.
Fariba Kamal Abadi and Mahvash Sabeti are spending a 20-year prison term only for believing in the Baha’i faith. There are currently at least 80 female political prisoners who have received heavy prison sentences for simple activities such as writing or commenting on Facebook, speaking in student gatherings, attending memorial ceremonies, having family members in Camp Ashraf or Camp Liberty or taking part in protests.
Activists in detention
Atena Faraghdani, 26, with a diploma degree and working in the Enghelab Sports Club, was arrested by Revolutionary Guards agents on 21 October 2014 and transferred to Evin Prison. Atena was accused of propaganda against the system, holding assemblies, collusion with the intention to disrupt national security, insulting the leader and insulting sanctities. Atena Daemi, is reported to be in dire physical conditions and suffering from an illness suspicious of being MS.
Another active who is currently imprisoned in Iran is Narges Mohammadi, Vice President and Spokesperson for the Human Rights Activists Association.
The trial of rights activist Narges Mohammadi, scheduled for Monday, July 6 at a so-called Tehran revolutionary court, was cancelled for no specific reason. The Ministry of Intelligence raised new allegations and requested the utmost punishment for Mohammadi.
Hamid Reza Mohammadi, her brother, explained in this regard, “The Ministry of Intelligence requested the utmost punishment due to the fact that Narges has not heeded to their demands. A number of new allegations have been added to her case, including the strange allegation of cooperation with ISIS! We believe that the reason behind such an accusation is my sister’s opposition with the execution of a number of Sunnis and requesting fair trials in their court hearings by judiciary officials.”
Hamid Reza Mohammdi also said, “Her activities in the Center of Human Rights Activists and launching the campaign to “Step by Step Revoking of Capital Punishment” are amongst the other charges raised against her,” he added.
Taghi Rahmani, the husband of political prisoner Narges Mohammadi, criticizes the approach adopted by Tehran’s public prosecutor and Evin Prison officials with his wife who is currently suffering from lung embolism and muscle crippling.
Mrs. Mohammadi must be receiving special medical for her specific illness. However, the Evin Prison clinic chief, based on his diagnosis, has refused to provide her the special medication prescribed for her; whereas medical specialists have emphasized that she needs to take this special medication.
Basic freedom and rights abused
In order to further their control over all aspects of people’s lives, the dictatorial regime in Iran is steadily attempting to eliminate women from the society. Despite the fact that women make up half of Iran’s society, they are viewed by the misogynist mullahs as private assets. Under the mullahs’ perspective, independent women or those specifying their own identities and those who have relieved themselves from their husbands and/or family’s all-out control, are in violation of sharia laws and must be punished. All regime laws are codified with such a perception. This is where women, as far as the regime’s officials are concerned, have no place in society other than inside their homes, and have no right other than being housewives and caring for children, just as Khamenei himself has emphasized time and again, to “raise children”.
Especially during the period that Rouhani’s government has been in power since August 2013, crackdown and violence against women is witnessed in a much wider spectrum. Laws have been adopted, such as ‘protecting hijab and virtue’ along with fines and specific bans for women, proving that crackdown is increasing on Iranian women. The catastrophic phenomenon known as homeless women sleeping on the streets and selling infants before birth are shocking realities that have found way into state-run media as statistics in this regard are skyrocketing. In the meantime, if we take a look at other areas of pressure on women, such as coerced marriages, employment bans and the decreasing age of drug addiction, one can depict a more vivid image of a society in which women are the “first victims” of the ruling fundamentalism.
One of the mullahs’ special tools used to control and crackdown women is mandatory hijab, with regime officials insisting and emphasizing on this matter time and again.
Wearing the ‘chador’ (head to toe covering) has reportedly been made mandatory for female students at the Scientific Applicatory University of ‘Academic Jihad’ in the southeastern city of Kerman. They have also been told that bright or bicolor manteaus are not allowed.
Pressure on women’s clothing increased from the very month of August 2013 when Rouhani came into power. The chief of ‘Moral Security Police’, Colonel Massoud Zahedian stated: “To see the status of veiling across the country police tapes people’s clothing across the city on monthly basis.”
He added: “’mal veiling’ is the same as last year’s according to standards which are not determined by police.”
(Mehr news agency 12 August 2013)
Shortly afterwards, the plan to confront women “for hijab conditions on the beach” was announced. NAJA’s deputy of border police announced that control of male veiling by sea guards on entertainment boats. Ahmad Geravand stated: if sea guards see any male veiling in their jurisdiction, the violation will be handed over to SSF. (ISNA news agency – 18 August 2013)
Less than a month later, the country’s police chief announced the “Plan to Confront Improper Cover”, under which overt measures against women on the streets intensified. State-run Mehr news agency reported on 8 September 2013 wrote: “Tehran Moral Police officer carried out the plan being accompanied with first aid units at Milad Tower and central shopping centers in western and central Tehran. They were also stationed at main squares of Tehran such as Vanak, Vali asr, Hafte Tir and Tajrish and confronted cases of impor. (Mehr news agency – 8 September 2013)
On September 8th ‘Guidance’ police patrols stationed at Tehran’s Milad Tower on Saturday ill-treated a number of women and girls under the pretext of ‘mal veiling’. (Asre Iran – 8 September 2013)
The plan to carry out measures on against women quickly spread from Tehran to other cities. On 9 September 2013 state sources said this plan was implemented in the city of Urumieh. Police take action against women wearing tight clothing, mantua above the knees or button less mantua and tight pants as well as wearing scarfs with a part of their hair out of it are subjects of this plan and will be confronted by police. (IRIB news – 9 September 2013)
The next step in the crackdown was the expansion of special police units and especially using women agents in order to impose enormous pressure on women and girls.
In this regard former SSF chief Ismail Ahmadi Moqadam explained about the formation of cavalry units, anti-riot K9 unit and the employment of female police in the Special Units. (ISNA news agency – 25 October 2013)
Less a month down the road, ‘Airports Police ‘chief Colonel Hassan Mehri said, “The plan for ‘Moral Security’ will be carried out full force in the country’s airports!
According to this plan individuals with improper clothing will not be allowed at the airports’ halls. They will be first warned and if they don’t comply with proper veiling they will not be allowed to enter the halls or their flights.” (Mehr news agency – 17 November 2013)
In the month of December, mullah Mohammad Baqi, cultural deputy for the Center of Research and Tactical Plans pointed to the national ‘Raihanat Al Nabi’ veiling plan for schools and said, “The plan is for elementary classes from the third class up. The plan covers kids between seven and 14.” (Fars news agency – 9 December 2013)
Also at Kerman’s Bahonar University, a number of rules of clothing have been posted beside the entrance, based on which the campus police take action take action against students. (NCRI- Apr. 30, 2014)
“Women can work in the kitchen of traditional restaurants but employing women in public areas of coffee shops are prohibited….In general, employing women in coffee shops is banned. Women can request permits for coffee shops but must name men as their caretakers in these public places,” Tehran’s police chief Khalil Helali said. (State-run ILNA news agency- Aug. 30, 2014)
*The sign says, “In order to respect women’s dignity and their high personalities, we are sorry that we cannot accept them in the coffee shop.”
ISNA state-run news agency reported that a rally was held in Tehran in support of the Islamic veiling and wrote, “Carrying red flags and banners, the protesters demanded the law of chastity and veiling be enforced.”
The protesters chanted, “Veiling is a rule of God and whoever denies it is shameless.” The gathering was staged in cooperation with the Revolutionary Guards and Tehran Municipality. (May 16, 2014)
A number of the mullahs’ parliamentary representatives expressed concern in a statement addressed to the president over the conditions of hijab. A part of the statement by 195 Majlis representatives reads, “Today, one of the most important aspects of cultural attacks against the Islamic Republic is the attempt to change the lifestyles of Iranian people through chastity and hijab.
Legal texts on executive solutions regarding the spread of chastity and hijab have been passed by the Supreme Council of Culture on January 3, 2006. We ask the president to monitor this matter and to issue the necessary orders to seriously implement this law.” (ISNA news agency, June 15, 2014)
The Director General of Cultural and Social Affairs in Iran’s Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province said, “Various inspections were conducted from April 9 to May 21 of this year in regards to the 12-itemed civil rights code and the 10-itemed order on hijab and chastity.” (State-run Reporters Club – June 29, 2014)
In part of his Friday prayer sermon in Tehran, Ahmad Khatami said, “The respected government is worried about hijab and the Interior Minister wrote a letter to me stating 16 various measures taken in this regard. We call on all officials to start imposing such hijab with their own employees.”(State-run ‘Asr-e Iran’ daily – June 29, 2014)
The Friday prayer leader of Bojnord called on government officials to encourage female employees to respect the required veiling. Abol-Qassem Yaqoubi said, “When managers have the ability to choose, they must put a difference among female employees who respect the hijab and chastity norms and those who pay no attention to this issue.”(Tabnak state run website – July 5, 2014)
Mohsen Mojtahed Shabestari, the supreme leader’s representative in Eastern Azerbaijan province and Tabriz’s Friday prayer leader said the State Security Forces must use female Basij forces. He stressed, “Those who do not respect the Ramadhan formalities in public must be dealt with in this month and should be dealt with in accordance to the law.”(Tabnak state run website – July 5, 2014)
Jannati, Tehran’s Friday prayer leader said, “Hijab is not just a Sharia issue that plays an essential role in the society. It is not an easy issue. Those who had readily accepted death in order to defend hijab were right.” (Asr-e Iran news agency – July 11, 2014)
State-run ‘Hijab and Virtue Club’ issued a statement marking the so-called national virtue and hijab day. Excerpts of the statement reads, “Today hijab and virtue have completely become a social and transgendered matter that is far beyond a religious behavior. We call on the judiciary to conduct necessary coordination with State Security Forces (SSF) in having a much better and firm approach against such currents that are destroying the country’s cultural atmosphere. We call on the SSF to deal with mal-veiling by continuously strengthening its covert activities in order to find the opposition.” (State-run website of Young journalists Club – July 12, 2014)
Yousef Tabatabaie-nezhad said cultural measures are not enough to force mandatory clothing on women and added, “To confront drug addiction and drug addicts, with the argument that they are instigating these problems, we take judicial action.” (State-run ILNA news agency – July 13, 2014)
In a religious ceremony in Qom marking the 23rd day of the month of Ramadan, the mullah Makarem Shirazi said, “Some factions are trying to convince the society about the importance of hijab and population growth. On the issue of promoting virtue and prohibiting vice, hijab and population growth, persuasion has no meaning. Shouldn’t there be a law to punish those who violate the society’s culture and endanger the moral norms of the society?” )ISNA state-run news agency – July 21, 2014)
Stressing the necessity to discriminate against women, Ayatollah Safi wrote, “Being a housewife is a great worship for Muslim women. It is not worthy and far from our expectations to see that women abandoning chador in our Islamic country of Iran has become prevalent and some girls do not use the chador! In the current situation, women have become involved in the society in such a way that they form relations with men and are often seen cooperating and working alongside men whom they do not know. They then have changed this into a habit and a tradition as if it is natural and they appear on the streets and in gatherings in attires that do not meet the Islamic teachings and standards.
Gender segregation is a fundamental criterion for a healthy society. Using chador, being modest, and allocating specific jobs to women and certain jobs to men is based on this gender separation and its rules and order must be followed closely.” (ISNA state-run news agency – July 22, 2014)
Women should not wear hats during winter.
Mohammad Massoud Zahedian, head of the ‘moral security’ police announced, “Individuals with improper clothing who do not abide by the rules of virtue and hijab in the society will have action taken against them,” he said. “Clothing may provide cover but can also become an issue of blatancy. Certainly hats are not considered as providing full hijab for women,” Zahedian continued. (State-run Asr-e Iran daily – December 6, 2014)
Imposing mandatory hijab has become so vital for the mullahs that it has even entered elementary school books. The mullahs cannot even tolerate an ice cream package.
Mullah Maha-addin Bahram Mohammadian, a senior official in the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Education said, “Clothing and chador have been added into school books for sixth graders. In the 15th lesson of this book, there is a lesson on various clothing for social groups. There are issues directly leading to hijab and this subject is covered in the ‘clothing’ lesson in this elementary school book.” (Fars state-run news agency – July 11, 2014)
The state-run ‘Headquarters to promote virtue and prevent vice’ in Isfahan filed a complaint against the ‘Mihan’ dairy and ice-cream company for posting Barbie pictures on its products. (Radio Zamane – July 12, 2014)
One of the methods used by the mullahs ruling in Iran to insult and terrify women is dispatching their hired agents to stage rallies in favor of crackdown on women under the pretext of improper veiling. In the regime’s viewpoint this shows their control and marginalizes the youth.
Asr-e Iran state-run news agency, published a photo report of a ‘hijab and chastity’ gathering in Tehran held by supporters of the Iranian regime. (Asr-e Iran news agency – July 12, 2014)
Pictures by state-run media publicizing a gathering by Iranian regime agents to tighten regulations and threaten women on hijab-(State-run Asr-e Iran daily – September 25, 2014)
Since women’s freedom shakes the mullahs’ misogynistic rule, finally they resort and rely on tactics of force on the streets.
Rohollah Solaimani Fard, the cleric in charge of Gorgan Township’s Charity Affairs said, “We will use Basij bases and women’s’ theology schools for that. The force will be organized, wear special uniforms and be stationed at the entrances of holy shrines so that nobody would enter the premises without wearing a chador.” (Fars News Agency- Mar. 12, 2014)
The SSF commander in Mazandaran province (northern Iran), announced that according to a new plan named Darya starting in late May, police will confront mal-veiled women and those who disrupt moral security. Massoud Jafari said, “The plan is nationwide and not specifically for Mazandaran Province.” (Tasnim state-run news agency- Apr. 26, 2014)
Simultaneous with the 27th International Book Exhibit in Tehran, Guidance Patrol agents showed up at the Tehran prayer hall and gave warnings to some visitors. During recent years, the SSF Moral Security Unit and Guidance Patrol confronted mal-veiled women outside concerts, shopping centers, book exhibitions, airports, etc. to an extent that at one point, mal-veiled persons were not allowed to enter the concerts. The Chastity and Veiling Plan was first passed by the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution in 2003, according to which 26 ministries, organizations and executive systems were tasked to implement certain principles to spread the culture of chastity and veiling.
It was initiated as ‘the Moral Security Plan’ in 2005 and the SSF, with 23 tasks, has been its main enforcer since. (ISNA state-run news agency- Apr. 30, 2014)
In response to a question from ISNA news agency in a press conference about the introduction of 18,000 mal-veiled persons to the judicial system in 2013, Esmaeel Ahmadi Mogaddam, then commander of the SSF said, “This figure was tabled in the Social Council. I don’t think it was necessary to be announced.” (Asre Iran- May. 24, 2014)
“Drivers that have bad hijab while driving will be stopped and warned,” said Isfahan traffic police Chief Colonel Hossein Gholami. (State-run ISNA news agency – July 1, 2014)
Nahavand Governor Imam-Ali Abdulmalaki said, “According to the bill passed by our council, from now on women with improper hijab will not be allowed to enter government offices. Government entities must prevent these individuals from entering the building or else the administrative manager will be held accountable.” (Asr-e Iran state-run news website – July 2, 2014)
In the month of July, the head of the Iranian regime’s infamous ‘Ansar Hezbollah’ repressive agents said the motorized patrols units will continue under the pretext of promoting virtue and preventing vice. He emphasized that officials are well informed of the activities of this unit and added, “Any obstructive measure will be met by the Hezbollah’s swift and harsh measures.” (NCRI Women’s Committee – July 12, 2014)
Mohammad Taghi Assar, an SSF deputy chief said, “Women will be used in any SSF units. The special SSF unit has currently recruited and trained a number of female members.” (Mehr state-run news agency – July 22, 2014)
Abdul-Hamid Mohtasham, secretary-general of Iran’s Ansar Hezbollah said motor patrols will restart their activities after eight years. Its mission will be to confront women with improper hijab and boys who fix themselves up. Ansar Hezbollah’s motorized patrols began their activities from the very first days of the rule of the mullahs’ regime in Iran in hopes of cracking down on political forces. They were active until the end of Khatami’s tenure in 2005. (NCRI Women’s Committee – July 23, 2014)
Sattar Khosravi, a senior Isfahan Province police official said, “We have recommended the installation of surveillance cameras at the entrance of women’s beauty salons.” (State-run Fars news agency – July 28, 2014)
A code of ethics has been established for students of the Science and Technology University which restricts wearing ripped clothes or using perfume. What girls and boys decide to wear on campus is specified in detail in the code of ethics. (NCRI Women’s Committee – July 30, 2014)
An official of Lorestan University said hijab and virtue regulations have been distributed as brochures amongst the new students, emphasizing they must abide by clothing regulations on the campus. He even went on to say students must respect the terms in their private dormitories. (State-run Tasnim news agency – August 5, 2014)
‘Guidance’ police agents have recently been dispatched to men and women’s salons for inspections. The owners will receive warnings if they possess any kind of hair styling magazines or hair styles they call “improper”. The agents enter the salons and barber shops with plainclothes and are seen issuing fines.
(NCRI Women’s Committee– August 7, 2014)
Closed-circuit cameras have been installed in an alley where a dormitory of the Alame Tabatabaie University is located. Guards are using these CC cameras to control all the girls’ actions, which is harassing for the students.
After returning to the dormitory one of these students walking with her brother in this alley was questioned by the guards about the identity of the man accompanying her. (NCRI Women’s Committee– August 8, 2014)
Mullah Jafar Shojouni said, “They purposely do this to lower security in the society. In my view wearing tight cloths and makeup is defiance to the establishment. That is why they must be arrested and subjected to the most severe punishment. If those who don’t wear hijab understand that flogging awaits them, they will correct themselves. How can we be indifferent to this issue that girls without hijab divert boys? They provoke our youth in the streets and that is why they must be guided and corrected.” (ISNA state-run news agency – August 12, 2014)
Hassan Karami, commander of the state police special units said, “Establishing a women’s unit before the presidential elections created a lot of international reaction and in my opinion the fact that all kinds of programs are more and more broadcasted on television, means that our endeavors have created serious blows to our enemy….In Tehran, a women’s anti-riot unit has been established and most of the members of this unit are handpicked and the remaining main force is from the police.” (State-run Asr-e Iran daily – August 23, 2014)
Amir Rahmatollahi, commander of Iran’s railway police said, “Closed-circuit cameras are being used to supervise women’s’ clothing and head cover…Passengers must abide by moral standards and the country’s laws. We will take measures against any unacceptable actions… there are police officers in 18 units, and they control these issues at entrances.”(State-run Fars news agency – August 26, 2014)
The “Guidance” police in Shushtar, passed a bill citing that all female students studying at Shushtar Azad University must wear chador. The police also determined the type of warnings to be given to students who do not abide. (NCRI Women’s Committee – September 30, 2014)
Mullah Hassan Ameli, the Friday prayer leader of Ardebil said in recent remarks, “The State Security Force must vividly show their effect in all aspects of social life and show clearly and move in a path so there would be no grounds for sins or contamination.” (State-run Fars news agency – October 7, 2014)
SSF agents in Tehran’s Sattarkhan Avenue established checkpoints on October 22, 2014 to confront women who do not observe the regime’s dress code. (NCRI Women’s Committee – October 23, 2014)
Alam al-Hoda, the Friday prayer leader of Mashhad in a provincial event held for ‘Promoting Virtue’ said, “Some officials and apparatus are only satisfied with verbal warnings. This is a simple solution for non-important issues… the issue of the expansion of vice has spread to an extent that any action in this regard is always one too few. There are many revolutionary entities in the country that are active on hijab and virtue. However, we continue to witness the growth of mal-veiling across the country.” (State-run ISNA news agency – November 1, 2014)
In its session on 9 November, members of the Iranian regime’s parliament ordered the Basij to carry out ‘promoting virtue’ measures (Basij forces can approach anyone, anywhere and warn them about their clothing and their behavior). According to article 19 of this plan the Basij Organization is obligated to use its ranks and files under the framework of implementing ‘Promoting Virtue and Prohibiting Vice’ measures through ‘verbal warnings’. A footnote of this article emphasizes the term ‘verbal’ does not cancel the responsibility of the Basij judicial agents to take ‘practical measures’. (Radio Zamaneh – November 9, 2014)
Mohammad Bagheri Bonab, a member of the Iranian regime’s Majlis (parliament) said, “Even if veiled women appear in TV ads, it is still considered wrong under sharia terms. Their presence along with men in ads is considered a type of gender mixture which is also considered wrong. The Majlis’ Cultural Commission and the surveillance apparatuses must give necessary warnings to the Radio and TV Organization on the use of women in commercials,” he emphasized. (State-run Asr-e Iran daily – November 11, 2014)
South Tehran University officials recently installed a poster on a wall specifying the regulations of hijab for girls on campus.
The following are not allowed for women:
- Incomplete head cover, showing the neck, chest and any other part of the body, except for the face and hands up to the wrist (for example, wearing thin or short scarves or thin socks);
- Wearing tight pants, sports pants and pants that are torn;
- Wearing unsuitable manteaux (coats), such as those that are above the knee, tight coats and coats of bright color. (NCRI Women’s Committee – November 11, 2014)
In an unprecedented move Iran’s SSF closed 26 Tehran cafes for serving women that the regime considers “mal-veiled” and “girls sitting next to boys”.
The closed cafes were amongst the “most popular and crowded” cafes in Tehran. (State-run Shahrvand daily – November 21, 2014)
Mullah Hosseini Bushehri, Khamenei’s Friday prayer leader in Qom called on the regime’s plainclothes agents and said, “Today one cannot forgo their responsibility on virtue in the society. You must rise to your duty since you have the power.” (NCRI Women’s Committee – December 1, 2014)
Mullahs’ senior officials consider hijab regulations more important than any other issue.
Friday prayer leader Mullah Ahmad Alam al-Hoda said, “What burns out the roots of Islam is not hunger but improper veiling. There is nothing more important than hijab. Hijab is not part of the private conditions of individuals; in fact it is considered an element to overthrow and destroy the establishment.” (State-run IRNA news agency – December 8, 2014)
The Iranian regime’s parliamentarians included a new amendment into the plan supporting the law of ‘promoting virtue and prohibiting vice’, permitting Basij and Revolutionary Guards forces to legally impose this law. The law was already codified to provide authorization for regime elements to carry out crimes such as acid attacks against Iranian women. The organizations must train individuals allocated for this force. (State-run Mehr news agency – December 9, 2014)
Months after the regime’s agents in October 2014 resorted to acid attacks and stabbing women under the pretext of improper veiling, at the beginning of the New Year, state mullahs have launched an unprecedented campaign demanding stricter measures to implement hijab regulations. This can be viewed as preparations for a new wave of crackdown against women.
Below are a few examples of such remarks:
Fars news agency, January 3: Ali Mehdizadeh, Baft Friday prayer leader said, “One of the main examples of injustice is negligence to the issue of hijab and virtue.”
Rasa News, January 2: Ahmad Najmipour, Sarayan Friday prayer leader said, “Today our enemies are encouraging improper hijab to taint the image of the supreme leader in the society. If women maintain their hijab it will lead to more security for the people.”
Fars news agency, January 2: Mohammad Dastjerdi, Rudsar Friday prayer leader said, “There are a wave of attacks against Iran’s sanctities on the issue of hijab.”
Fars news agency, January 2: Akbar Afshar-manesh, Kahnuj Friday prayer leader said, “One of the most devious conspiracies carried out by the enemies of Islam in modern history has been against hijab.”
Gholam-Hossein Ibrahimi, the Iranian regime’s Friday prayer leader in Sabzevar (northeastern) said, “We must not allow the sanctity of hijab to be destroyed in towns. Unfortunately, today there are many people that are questioning the sanctity of this mandatory act, and there must be serious measures taken in this regard. State officials are expected to support the ‘promoting virtue and prohibiting vice’ agents and the people are expected to react to any wrongdoing.” (State-run Fars news agency – January 10, 2015)
Mullah Movahedi Kermani, Tehran’s temporary Friday prayer leader said, “The society has no duties on non-explicit sins. Improper veiling is an explicit sin and when a sin becomes explicit, everyone is responsible and everyone will be held accountable. It is wrong to say the youth must be free because such a mentality is followed with destructive results.”
A few months ago, this criminal mullah in Tehran’s so-called Friday prayer paved the grounds for vicious assaults against women, including acid attacks.
“What have you done with these improper veiling? Are you indifferent? Why is there so much improper veiling in the society? Do you know what the meaning of this improper veiling is? Some of these ladies are not aware, while others are very aware and waging war against the revolution. They make a mockery out of this and this is the jihad of the enemies.” (Parsine website & Radio Moaref – January 16, 2015)
Iranian government gives monetary awards to thugs for crackdown on women
Mehdi Hashemian, deputy chief of the headquarters of ‘Promoting Good and Prohibiting Vice’ said, “Active employees and premier entities will be awarded substantially and spiritually for imposing virtues on women.”
The Iranian regime officials passed a new criminal bill in September of 2014, backing Basij and plainclothes thugs to attack women in the name of “Promoting Good and Prohibiting Vice”. The criminal bill resulted in a wave of acid attacks and stabbings of women, where at least 35 women were hospitalized and one was killed. Several activists and reporters were arrested for informing the public, but no one was arrested for the acid attacks. The new bill will intensify oppressive measures on the already defenseless female population in Iran. (State-run Tasnim news agency – January 20, 2015)
On the issue of street crackdown against women, the head of the Iranian regime’s club wielding unit known as the ‘Ansar Hezbollah’ said the activities of this unit’s repressive motorized patrols will continue under the pretext of ‘Enjoin Virtue and Prohibit Vice’. He emphasized the activities of this unit is not a subject that officials are not aware of.
“Any obstructive measure will be met with swift and harsh measures by the Hezbollah.” (NCRI – July 12, 2014)
Crackdown entities increase more than ever before. On 14 July 2014, despite the fact that 27 entities are imposing repressive measures in Gilan Province alone, Firuz Fazeli, director general of the Gilan Province Islamic Culture and Guidance said further investment will be carried out to impose hijab and virtue in the society. (State-run Journalists Club – July 14, 2014)
The use of hats is declared as improper cover! Mohammad Massoud Zahedian, head of the ‘moral security’ police in Tehran said, “Individuals with improper clothing who do not abide by the rules of virtue and hijab in the society will have action taken against them,” he said.
“Clothing may provide cover but can also become an issue of blatancy. Certainly hats are not considered as providing full hijab for women,” Zahedian continued. (State-run Asr-e Iran daily – December 6, 2014)
In Jun 2015, Iran’s Ministry of Interior published instructions on hijab regulations for government employees and the private sector. The state-run Tasnim news agency wrote in this regard:
According to this statement clothing of men and women working in the country’s administrative bodies and private firms must be according to the following:
- Clothing of female employees include: chador or long-sleeve manteau to the knees without any marks; pants; long headdresses; all with conventional colors; not using any unconventional ornaments or jewelry, and not using any makeup.
- Clothing for male employees include: refraining from wearing T-shirts, tight or short sleeve shirts, tight pants or jeans or clothing with Western labels, not using any jewelry, wide belts with unconventional buckles, and inadequate hairstyles.
This statement continues by saying these regulations have been informed to all employees of administrative bodies in cities and private firms, and the necessary supervision must be imposed to have these guidelines complied by. (State-run Tasnim news agency – June 20, 2015)
A short period afterwards on June 31 state sources gave news of a letter written by Rouhani addressing Khamenei about analyzing the ‘promoting good and prohibiting wrong’ plan.
This plan is completely at the service of suppressive forces and will increase the pressure on women. This plan was first passed in the Iranian parliament in October 2014. The substance of the plan gives news of a serious threat by Ansar-e Hezbollah (extremist group) that will treat women anyway they want without any authorization. Elements of Ansar-e Hezbollah have since the beginning of this year, given news of initiating motor patrols to fight against ‘improper veiling’. They intend to toughen the conditions for women. (Rasa News Agency – June 31, 2015)
On July 21, 2015, the crackdown of women under hijab pretext was ratified by the Culture and Legal Commission in Iran’s so-called parliament, legalizing the crackdown of women in Iran.
The state-run Tasnim news agency wrote in this regard citing a parliament member: “The plan to protect virtue and hijab, with cooperation from the parliament Culture and Legal Commission, was prepared and the general aspects ratified.
“This plan has 9 provisions. Confronting homeless women on the streets, imposing hijab regulations in vehicles and public areas and confronting government employees not abiding by hijab regulations are of such measures. This session was held with a representative of the government, the Interior Ministry and State Security Force,” said Morteza Hosseini. (State-run Tasnim news agency – July 21, 2015)
In August 2015 the fines and limitations imposed under this plan were revealed. Spokesman of the Joint Culture and Judiciary Commission in Iran’s so-called parliament said a bill has been ratified by this body specifying a 1 million rial fine (around $30) for vehicles carrying women with improper veiling.
“According to Article 1 of the Virtue & Hijab Plan drivers or passengers with improper veiling will be considered criminals and traffic police can take action against them,” said Nasrollah Pijhman-far. According to this article traffic police can also take action against drivers that have passengers not abiding by hijab regulations and also fine them 1 million rials. (State-run Ana news agency – August 10, 2015)
Imposing mandatory veiling and other misogynist restrictions based on the mullahs’ fundamentalist sharia laws starts when young girls enter elementary school.
The Iranian regime officially considers 9 as the age of puberty for girls. Each year the Iranian regime gathers a group of schoolgirls in this age range to participate in a ‘ceremony’ to show that innocent girls are not only forced to give in to the regime’s misogynist laws – such as mandatory hijab and other restrictions – in fact they must be ready for fixed marriages and having their fates decided for.
In a ceremony held on January 7, 2015, Taghi Abu Talebi Ahmadi, deputy of Training and Culture in Tehran’s Department of Education said “To stabilize the age of passing from childhood to becoming a youth, such a ceremony is necessary to launch new duties. This ceremony of schoolgirls are held throughout Tehran.”
Calling a 9-year-old girl, mature is ridiculous. This clearly explains how the mullahs’ view women. However, innocent Iranian girls have been paying the price of this filthy way of thought for years now.
Iran’s Registration Organization published a chart on the age of couples who have married in a 9-month period in 2013.
According to this data, 30,956 individuals of the 579,871 married couples were girls under the age of 15, consisting of 3.5% of all the marriages in the country.
According to this organization, Iran is a member of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which considers individuals under the age of 18, of any gender, as minors. However, in Iran, marriage of children is quite legal. In 1982 the age for marriage was lowered to 9 for girls, and 15 for boys, when they are considered “adults” according to the Iranian regime’s sharia law. These ages can be lowered further if a judge approves the marriage. These barbaric laws allow trading children in exchange for money in poor families.
Iranian regime officials are actively advertising this policy. Leila Javidan, deputy in culture and youths affairs in East Azerbaijan Province’s Youth and Sports Department said, “From March 2013 to March 2014, 3 cases of child brides of girls under the age of 10 and 4,488 cases of marriages of girls under the age of 15 were registered in East Azerbaijan Province.” (State-run ISNA news agency – September 25, 2014)
State-run Tabnak daily wrote on December 4, 2014, “Iran will not give in to the pressure imposed by the United Nations to prohibit marriages under the age of 18. There are other matters seen in the convention that are in contrast with Islamic standards.” The statistics published by Iran’s registry shows that over 41,000 girls under the age of 15 were married last year, which amounts to 5.3% of all marriages. 30% of marriages involved women between the ages of 15 to 19.
December 2, 2014 – Ayatollah Gheraati, the head of the Iranian regime Department of Friday Prayer Imams said on state-run national television, “I believe girls must marry in their high school years. Boys and girls must be separated in universities. For example, men should go to school in the morning and women in the afternoon,” he added. (Youth Reporters Club – December 6, 2014)
The regime’s bodies publish a scope of this tragedy in an attempt to portray their policy as ordinary culture.
Based on the Iranian regime’s Census Organization, 1,277 babies were born from mothers under the age of 15 during the first 9 months of this year. Furthermore, these cases reached 1,727 births, which is 0.1% of all births in Iran during last year (1,471,834).
Provinces such as Sistan-Baluchistan with 462 cases of mothers under the legal age rank the first.
(State-run Mehr news agency – January 6, 2015)
Orphans are the most defenseless in the face of the mullahs’ cruel policies.
Considering that the new law ‘supporting’ children without caretakers or those with irresponsible caretakers have allowed single women to take custody of a girl, a footnote on article 27 of this law that has become very controversial, indicates the legalization of marriage of a caretaker with their adopted child, with the consent of a court. Those opposing this law say such marriages will harm the children in the future. The marriage of step-fathers with their step-daughters was first proposed by the regime’s Welfare Department. There have been rumors indicating that the department is seeking to relieve itself of the defenseless children, even at the cost of the marriage of a caretaker who once was the children’s father or mother. Department officials have said they have to finalize the status of 22,000 children left without caretakers. (State-run ‘Mardom-Salari’ daily – January 5, 2015)
These laws prepare even darker fates for Iranian girls.
A senior West Azerbaijan Province official said 1 of every 7 marriages in this province ends up in divorce and this is alarming. Most divorces are for couples aged 20 to 24 and men between 25 and 29. He also mentioned that 15 marriages were registered between the ages of 10 to 14.
(State-run Asr-e Iran daily – August 25, 2014)
The mullahs’ regime continues to humiliate these unfortunate women.
In the month of September, the misogynist regime installed a number of posters in the streets of Tehran on the issue of “divorce”. The posters read, “My daughter, divorce means sharing your loneliness with the streets!”
Officials imply that if women get divorced they have no future other than becoming prostitutes and women must endure life with any kind of limitations and abuse to avoid separations. (NCRI Women’s Committee – September 2, 2014)
A special report prepared by the NCRI Women’s Committee on the issue of child brides and laws ratified in the Iranian regime’s parliament where stepfathers are permitted to marry their adopted girls are found on pages 127 and 134.
These conditions witness become even more dreadful in the year 2015.
A report that has recently been published by state-run media in Iran says, “The increasing number of divorces, the lowering age of widows, and increasing rate of employment amongst women are some of the reasons why the number of single mothers is on the rise. They are facing more problems and becoming more vulnerable.
Majid Abhari, a social vulnerability and behavioral science expert says in this regard, “The rising number of young widows and the widow age reaching 16 is an indication of the lack of adequate substantive support for these women, lack of efforts to create job opportunities. This has led to increasing social damages amongst women.” (State-run Khabar Farsi website – May 27, 2015)
A shocking report goes viral in state-run media regarding divorce between Iranian children aged 10 to 14.
Farshid Yazdani, a social affairs official in the Iranian regime said, “There are concerning statistics related to under-age marriages between children. We have around 25,000 children between 10 to 14 years old that have divorced.”
“25% of our children don’t go to schools and this issue will bring about concerning issues for the country’s future,” Yazdani said.
According to Iran’s laws the legal age of marriage is 13 for girls and 15 for boys. However, the father or grandfather of girls below the legal age can give their daughters to marriage with a court permit. According to Yazdani these statistics show girls usually get married before the legal age. (State-run IRNA news agency – June 22, 2015)
In the month of July and a short period afterwards, state-run media reported divorce numbers increasing in Iran.
Statistics show the explicit pressure on women in the society and inside families as a result of the Iranian regime’s repressive and misogynist policies.
The Iran Census Organization reported the number of divorces registered this spring witnessed a 17.5% increase in comparison to the same period last year. The state-run Shahrvand daily reported 390,981 divorces from March to June of this year. The highest number of divorces has been reported between the ages of 25 to 29, numbering at 9,394 cases. (State-run Salamat News website – July 4, 2015)
The state-run Mashregh News website writes in a report that increasing numbers of divorces and social disconnection in Iran has reached a point that even state-run media are forced to talk about this dilemma. In this regard the state-run Mashregh News website wrote the number of divorces in the lower ages is very high, raising concerns across the country.
From March 2013 to March 201 the number of divorces reported reached 155,000 cases, showing a rate of 426 divorces registered each day and 16 divorces every hour. (State-run Mashreq News website – July 21, 2015)
The latest statistics posted by the Iran Census Organization show new numbers in this regard: Nearly 420,000 Iranian girls under the age of 15 had married from 2004 to 2014.
Two days ago, Majid Arjmandi, head of the Social Emergency organ in Iran said during the past years 360 girls under the age of 14 had been married, with ten cases being under the age of 10!
“Marriages and divorces amongst children increased 45% in Iran from 2005 to 2010,” says child rights activist Farshid Yazdani.
The numbers in 2010 show that Iran had 37,000 divorced women and widows ranging from the ages of 10 to 18, he added. Yazdani said economic poverty is the main reason why families sendoff children between the age of 10 and 15 to marriage. (State-run Radio Zamaneh & Fararu website – August 18, 2015)
State officials put all their efforts to force girls into their homes before gaining a minimum education. In the mullahs’ point of view, this minimizes the probability of women rising for their rights.
Under Rouhani’s tenure such a perspective is seen in education conditions, the status of campus dormitories and girls being deprived of necessary facilitation. These examples speak for themselves:
3,000 students of Mazandaran University have no place to sleep
Masha’allah Matin Far, the Student Deputy of Mazandaran University said: “From amongst 5,000 applicants we could only house 2,000 at the university’s dormitory.” (Fars news agency- 9 December 2013)
Report on female students’ condition in Isfahan
Female students are forced to pass two guards when exiting their dormitory, first; the dormitory guard and second; the university guard. Unlike some universities, which have dormitories inside the campus like Isfahan University, in order to go for a walk or shopping, they have to wear ‘Maghna’e’ (a special veiling recommeded by Sharia rules). However, ‘Maghna’e’ is not their single problem. The two guards monitor them to be sure that they wear manteaus and trousers. The guards, also watch students’ appearances and relationships.
At Hezar Jrib Street where their university is located, autorities use surveillance cameras to control the students. Authorities of the university’s disciplinary committee have told that the students are also under control in Kooye Bahar and 33Pol (famous locations in the city of Isfahan).
As a fact, when a girl’s leg broke on the fifth floor on the staircase at 9 pm, the authorities did not allow the emergency doctors to carry her using a stretcher.
The fact that girls must be present in dormitory at 8.30 pm is another limitation always imposed on female students. If they reach there even at 8.40 their names are given to the disciplinary committee. (NCRI- Jan. 21, 2014)
Ardebil Province’s governor said, “Today, a girl’s maturity age is equivalent to all the education she requires and getting a diploma is enough for her to get married. Girls must get their high school diplomas earlier than boys, in their ninth grade. They don’t need to learn things like physics or math, which is of no use for women,” he said. (State-run ‘Mardom Salari’ daily – November 10, 2014)
It is natural that such officials prefer to prevent girls from getting an education.
The misogynist culture promoted by the mullahs’ of Iran, have deprived girls in Khorasan Province (East) from education. Jahandoost who dropped out of school from third grade said, “Four of my older sisters dropped out high school.” Another girl said, “When I reached high school, my father said that our financial situation is good. Education is for people in need.”
Shadanpanah said, “I was accepted for the gifted program in middle school, yet my mother didn’t allow me to go to school.” (Zamaneh Radio – September 15, 2014)
In a meeting entitled “Women and Educational Justice” held in Tehran, social researcher Parastu Ellahiyari reported, “The share for women in various fields were completely eliminated in 36 universities from March 2012 to March 2013. 5, 1789 men were accepted in the fields but not one single woman. During this same period, 2,319 seats, and in the next 12 months 3,962 seats, and from March 2014 to this day 2,319 seats for educating women in universities have been eliminated.”
Eliminating women’s shares in various fields in 36 Iranian universities began in the last years of the Ahmadinejad’s tenure and this trend is apparently continuing under Rouhani. More than 8000 seats for women have been eliminated in the past three years. (NCRI Women’s Committee – September 1, 2014)
In a council session on illiteracy at the governor’s office in Boroujerd, Reza Ariayi said, “Over 117,000 people in Lorestan Province (West) are illiterate, most of which are women and villagers. The population of Lorestan is 1,750,000. The ratio of illiterates for this population is very high.” (Tasnim state-run news agency– July 23, 2014)
Social conditions of women
Misogynist policies are made very public and institutionalized in political and social arenas.
Presently, except the law making institutes such as the Parliament, all the directors of medical organizations in Iran are chosen among male physicians. Additionally, every executive director of medical systems including directors of hospitals and clinics and authorities of hygiene networks in provinces and districts are chosen from men.
The general manager of the Education Ministry’s Women Bureau complained about women not being involved in decision-making areas. Mahnaz Ahmadi stated, “Meetings of the High Council of Education are held with the presence of educated individuals, but despite their abilities, women are absent.” (Fars state-run News Agency- Apr. 19, 2014)
The deputy Minister of Industries, Mines and Trade in women’s affairs in Isfahan said, “In Tehran’s Chamber of Commerce for each 400 commerce card holders, only 9 are women and this shows a very low presence of women in the field of commerce and production. For example, 90% of rug weavers are women, but their economic portion of the financial cycle in this sector is less than 5%.
In the field of agriculture women always consist more than 50% of the employees in this branch, but their portion of the revenue from the financial cycle is less than 10%.”(State-run ILNA news agency – September 25, 2014)
The advisor of youth affairs in Iran’s Central Province said, “Despite the fact that women comprise more than half of the country’s educated population, they have not yet had the opportunity to participate in economic activities. Currently the number of educated women is more than men, but only 11% of women are in the job market.” Based on a census conducted in 2011 the number of people unemployed in this province was 55,000. 36,000 of these were young. 12,000 of the unemployed people in this province have university education. This is an alarm for province officials. (State-run Mehr news agency – January 4, 2015)
Mehdi Sotudeh, director of Islamic propaganda in Ardebil, described women receiving education and employed in various posts as a threat to the Iranian regime.
“Women’s ability and spirit is not taken into consideration in today’s job market. In the current situation, the first and foremost priority is family structure. The strategic planning for employment and education of women must take this into consideration,” he said. (State-run Mehr news agency – October 3, 2014)
The deputy in women’s affairs in Rouhani’s cabinet said, “In Iran, despite an increase in the number of educated women and female students, we are witnessing that there is no balance in our job market. The job market is controlled by men. The number of female parliamentarians is only 9 amongst 290.” (State-run Asr-e Iran – October 16, 2014)
The Revolutionary Guards news agency, Javan, wrote a piece trying to eliminate women from management jobs.
The piece reads in part, “With the increasing influence and capability of women in the workforce, they are suffering depression due to high pressure and more stress, while this is not the case in men; due to the fact that men’s role in management and leadership in the society is accepted, the management of women is mainly a type of abnormality that causes stress and high self-confidence that comes with depression.” (Javan Reporters’ Club – November 26, 2014)
Many women and youth find no other solution other than to flee the mullahs’ hell.
According to the latest statistics on Iranian brain drains, women make up 40% of individuals leaving the country. A quick look at the world’s most prominent colleges shows the wide presence of Iranian women, of which many have reached significant successes and obtained prestigious posts. If these educated young women had remained in Iran they would most probably be amongst the unemployed women forced to remain in their homes.
Statistics show unemployment amongst men between the ages of 15-24 as 21% in the spring of this year and the number of unemployed women in this same age group being 43.4%, showing that unemployment among women is twice that of men. (State-run IRNA news agency – October 19, 2014)
Employment and insurance
Although the mullahs ruling Iran do not provide a clear image of women’s employment in the country, however, the incomplete statistics that leak from its media reveal the depth of the catastrophe.
The most serious issue the government is facing today is the university graduates’ unemployment.
Zahra Akhavan, expert in social and women’s affairs said, “The crisis of unemployment is extensive in the county particularly when sixty-three percent of educated women are unemployed. Unfortunately, what I am warning is that girls in our society find themselves in traps when searching for jobs. In fact if economic and cultural problems are not resolved, we will be faced with crisis in the near future.” (State-run Tasnim News Agency- Apr. 20, 2014)
The Iran Statistics Center announced in a part of its most recent report, “The worst unemployment rate in the country belongs to women between the ages of 20 to 24, which stands at 47.2%. This number reaches 54.1% in the suburbs. Also, 35% of women between the ages of 25 to 29 are unemployed.” (State-run IRNA news agency – July 21, 2014)
Zahra Karimi, a faculty member at Mazandar University said, “In 2005 the population of working women over 10 years of age was 17%. This number dropped to 11.7% in the summer of 2014.” (Youths Reporters Club – December 8, 2014)
The Iranian regime’s Statistics Center reported that only 10% of the country’s women have jobs outside their homes. (State-run Bahar News Website – December 23, 2014)
23 million people are the economically active population in Iran however, according to an official report issued by the Iran Census Center on the work force from the period of March 2013 to March 2014; the number of active women has decreased 8.6%. During the mentioned 12 months, of the 710,000 number of jobs created, some 1,012,000 job opportunities have been added to employ men, while 303,000 job opportunities were decreased for women. The state-run Tasnim news agency admits recent plans mentioned by the Iranian regime’s parliament, have had a negative effect on women’s employment. (State-run Tasnim news agency – December 30, 2014)
Unemployment amongst women has reached 43.4%, its highest rate in the past 8 years. This number is twice that of unemployed men that had increased to 22.4% in the spring of this year. The highest rate of job-seeking women in Iran is among those under the age of 30. According to these numbers, a significant number of women looking for work have higher education and therefore have a more serious view of taking part in the job market. Many government officials believe that due to the high rate of unemployment amongst men, women should automatically be given second priority when applying for a job. (State-run Mehr news agency – September 24, 2014)
According to ILNA state-run news agency, further limitations are planned for the women in the workforce. Apparently, the parliament intends to cut teaching jobs for women. Abdulvahid Fiazi, a member of the Iranian parliament’s Education Commission said, “Currently the education fields is facing an imbalanced number of men and women in its personnel, meaning it doesn’t have enough men. However, it has more than enough women in its work force. … 70% of the teachers are women and this is much more than what the Education Ministry needs. It is necessary to use more men in choosing new people in the work force.”
(ILNA state-run news agency – July 21, 2014)
Regime officials have formally declared that men are in charge of providing for the family, therefore, they should have employment priority. Based on such a viewpoint and by resorting to various pretexts, they continue to harass and take advantage of employed women. Many women are employed in harsh labor jobs while their paychecks are less than their male counterparts.
Labor activist, Haleh Safarzadeh told ILNA state-run news agency that many working women including carpet weavers and those who work in family businesses are not insured.
“In reality, many working women face problems when getting insured”, she said.
“Carpet weavers, those working in workshops with under ten employees, women working in family businesses or unofficial businesses are all deprived of insurance. Moreover many employers hide the workers when an inspector pays a visit but women laborers have no choice other than to comply with these conditions because they need a job. A law has recently been passed for early retirement for women. If you observe this law, you will see that the pension for a 50 to 60-year-old woman who has worked for years without being insured is about 400 to 500 thousands rials (about $13 to $17) per month.” (ILNA state-run News Agency- March 1, 2014)
The head of the Islamic Labor Councils’ Association in Gilan Province, Gholam Hossein Falahati stressed, “Although 60 percent of farming in this province is done by women, they do not enjoy any social aid. In mechanized farming, men are present behind the wheel as they are skilled in the technical work, but women are still working in other farmlands with their hands. Most farms in Gilan Province are still operated in the traditional way and are run mostly by female workers who do not even enjoy the legal wage of a worker.”
(Radio Zamaneh- Mar. 28, 2014)
Reports issued by the Statistical Center of Iran shows that 1.2 percent of employees in the mining industry are women. The figures registered in 2011 show that one thousand and 79 people of the total employees in the mining industry are women.
Copper mines have the biggest portion of women, with 92 female workers and 68 others who work to extract iron ore. (Asre Iran state-run News Agency- Apr. 2, 2014)
Deputy Minister of Mine, Industry and Commerce in Women Affairs said, “Female artisans have suffered the greatest damage from the subsidizing plan’s first step. Women have serious and active roles in the structure of mine and industry bodies but they are still weak in management. In our villages, women play active roles particularly in hand-made industries and farming.”
In the isles and coasts of Hormozgan Province, women, in addition to men are also sailing and fishing.
Ganji Badsaz, a fisherwoman said in tears, “I have been working as a fisherwoman for 20 years but my future is uncertain”. Another fisherwoman Zeynab Badzohreh said, “I have worked as a fisherwomen for ten years but the Port Bureau has failed to provide any sailing certificates.”
Zohreh Sayyadi said, “I went to the Port Bureau and said, why don’t you set-up a course to teach women how to obtain sailing licenses? He said, “We do not have licenses for women”.
The Deputy Manager at Shilat Bureau in Fishery Affairs said, “There are more than 200 women working in the fishing field and since they do not have sailing certificates, we have not written their names in our license because the law does not permit us to.” (Asr-e Iran – Apr. 17, 2014)
A labor rights expert, Sohrab Qanbari said, “Despite legal prohibition, we witness women being recruited in hard technical jobs and in night shifts in factories, production and industrial sites. Pregnancy and birth has become a major reason for women’s unemployment. The labor law has taken into consideration 6 months of pregnancy leave for women, but many women workers lose their jobs after delivering their children.” (ILNA state-run News Agency- Apr. 22, 2014)
Asma Cheshmeh Kabudi, a mathematics teacher in Kamyaran’s (Northeast) girls’ school, was exiled for three years to the province of Yazd (South of Isfahan) after 15 years of work. Charges raised against her were “provoking students and teachers by creating religious division and distributing illegal pamphlets, having membership and activities in Koranic schools, opposing religious ceremonies and disrupting high school programs.”
Also, Asra Gavili, a personnel in a hospital in Kamyaran was expelled from work after working for three years in the facility. The charge issued against her was having membership in a Koranic school.
(NCRI Women’s Committee – July 17, 2014)
Farideh Bahari, a fitness trainer for girls in the town of Bane, Kurdistan, was expelled on 5 January from her job after five years of teaching. The reasons for her expulsion were announced as “not participating in elections or marches and not believing in the supreme leader” of the mullahs’ regime.
(NCRI Women’s Committee – January 17, 2015)
The Forensics Organization in Iran announced the number of labor related deaths as: 12 women were among the 1,506 labor related deaths caused by incidents from March to December 2014. This report added, “Of all the fatalities from these incidents at work sites during this period, 685 cases of deaths were due to falling from heights, 333 were due to blows from heavy objects, 228 cases due to electrical shocks, 72 cases due to lack of oxygen, 58 cases due to burns and 130 cases due to other reasons.” (State-run ILNA news agency – Feb 14, 2015)
Shahin Dokht Mulla-Vardi, a Rouhani deputy, said about women and families: “Currently 82% of single mothers are unemployed.
Mullavardi said only 3% of women are active in management and political fields. (State-run ISNA news agency – March 22, 2015)
The Akryl Tob factory in northern Iran was closed down in May 2015 and all its 100 female workers are now left unemployed.
These workers had been working in this factory for a long time and their names have now been given to the Labor Department to receive unemployment insurance.
The Iran Census Center in a report published in the fall of 2014 wrote that in one year alone over 553,000 women were pushed out of the economic activities cycle. The number of these women decreased from 4,302,000 in the summer of 2013 to 3,749,000 women in the summer of 2014. (State-run ILNA news agency – May 25, 2015)
74,000 working mothers in Iran have been laid off from work during the past few months due to non-coordination in leave laws.
“This number of working mothers who were to return to work after a six month maternity leave, have now faced problems and been laid off from work after it was declared that the leave for maternity was increased to 9 months,” Mullavardi, Iran’s vice president in women and affairs. (State-run IRIB news agency – June 16, 2015)
University professor: 100,000 women are annually fired from the job market!
In the Iranian society women are step by step pushed towards letting go all social activities and staying at home.
The government has implemented this policy in the area of job opportunities, opportunity for free social activities and the development of women in the cultural arena.
In this regard, Fatima Sadeqi, a university professor, says: annually 100,000 women are fired from the job market. According to official stats, 74,000 women after using their pregnancy leave of absence were fired from work. Therefore, one can say that all in all some 900,000 women have been fired from work during this period.
The conditions of divorce in the society are at a point where the rate of divorced women has turned into a national security issue.
Some have estimated it at 6 million women.
Women’s educational condition in Iran is horrible. Fatima Sadeqi says:
According to official stats, some 10% of girls between the ages of 6 to 17 are deprived of education. This includes almost 700 to 800 thousand girls. 20% of girls never make it to high school. (ISNA News Agency – June 31, 2015)
Women are being marginalized in the work force and in social activities, whereas the number of women graduates are very significant in Iran’s society.
In this regard, Shahindokht Molavardi, Rouhani’s vice president in women and family affairs has said from March 2013 to March 2014, employment rates amongst women have been 79.7% and unemployment at 20.3%; whereas employment for men was reported at 91.5% and unemployment at 8.5%.
Molavardi continued her remarks and actually defended the sidelining of women from the society: “We should place some value for housekeeping in our calculations and it should be assumed as an occupation for women!”
Furthermore, Rouhani’s deputy Trade, Work and Social Welfare Minister said in this regard, “The average rate of women taking part in the economy across the globe is around 50%, while these numbers are only 12% in Iran!” According to this regime official, “Despite the fact that there are many educated women in this country, unfortunately they are not taking part in the economy.”
(State-run Khabar Online & Ana News websites – July 21, 2015)
In 20 provinces unemployment amongst young women has soared above 40%.
The Iran Census Center published its statistics report covering March 2014 to March 2015. These numbers show unemployment amongst young women reaching 40% in 20 provinces across the country. Nine provinces have unemployment soaring 40% while six others are above a shocking 50%, the state-run IRNA news agency reported. Three other provinces have reported rates at above a whopping 60%, while two provinces have 70% of the women reported as unemployed. The provinces of Kohkiluyeh-Boyer-Ahmad and Chahar-Mahal-Bakhtiari have unemployment rates above 70% for young women. These numbers in Ilam, Fars and Mazandaran provinces are above 60%.
Urban areas report unemployment rates for young women at 54.5% and rural areas at 24.8%. The three provinces of Chahar-Mahal-Bakhtiari and also Lorestan have these rates skyrocketing at 80%, whereas 60% of all students entering the country’s universities and colleges are women. (State-run IRNA news agency – July 28, 2015)
Single mothers have enduring the utter cruelty and pressures under the rule of the mullahs’ regime.
According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, “Based on the latest results of the consensus in 2011, in a 15-year period from 1996 to 2011, the number of ordinary families having female caretakers have increased by about 250%. Based on this report in 1996 for every man in the work force there were 9 woman caretakers in their houses. However, this ratio increased to 14 woman caretakers for every man in the workforce in 2011. These women suffer from cultural segregation, lack of access to current job opportunities, illiteracy or very low literacy, lack of continuous income and spiritual and psychological problems.” (State-run Mehr news agency – August 1, 2014)
Based on conducted census, from the 2,500,000 single-mothers living in the country, only 18 percent are employed and the remaining 82 percent are unemployed. The average income of a single-mother is said to be 9 billion and 900 million rials (about $341.550) which raises great concern because 81 percent of women in deprived areas are illiterate and have a high number of children.
A welfare expert of women and family affairs in Zanjan Province Layla Mahmoudi said, “32.5 percent of those women have no guardians and 41 percent are women who have guardians but have become the breadwinners because their husbands are now disabled. The poverty rate of single-parent women shows that women still have higher poverty rate compared to men.” (ISNA state-run News Agency- April 15, 2014)
Based on official statistics over 12% of the women across Iran are single mothers. In Kurdistan, over 9.5% of women are single mothers. They are facing many problems trying to make ends meet. (State-run Fars news agency – October 9, 2014)
However, the sole solution provided by Iranian regime officials for these women is remarriage.
The head of the Imam Khomeini Aid Committee, Hossein Anvari said, “Single mothers and their children face economic problems as well as other problems which can be resolved by remarriage. Due to the Imam Khomeini Aid Committee’s efforts, 2,000 single mothers have approached remarriage. Our efforts are aimed at reducing the social odium toward this issue and presenting it as a natural matter in society.” (ILNA state-run news agency- May 14, 2014)
On the increasing number of single mothers across Iran, especially their ages reaching below 20, the state-run Salamat News wrote based on obtained information, single mothers under age of 20 consist of 4% of all the country’s single mothers, meaning around 8,973 of this group.
Ms. Azar Ismaeeli, an advisor of women’s affairs says, “Around 16,000 single mothers are under the age of 20; 14% are between the ages of 21 to 40; 12.5% are between the ages of 41 to 50; 17% are between the ages of 51 to 60; 20% are between the ages of 61 to 70; and 36% are which are above the age of 71.” (State-run Salamat News – June 20, 2015)
The mullahs’ president’s advisor, Shahindakht Molaverdi acknowledged that 2.5 to 3 million women act as family breadwinners and said, “We are witnessing that poverty is becoming womanized in families. Currently, our women have the lowest income among countries in the region. This is not proportionate to the fact that half of our population is women and 70% of the university admissions goes to girls. Of course, we do not approve full time employment for women. We look for new areas of employment such as jobs inside the house or self-employment.”(State-run Mehr News Agency – August 25, 2014)
Heartbreaking examples of poverty amongst women indicates the true catastrophe created by the regime, even more than its officials mention in their remarks.
Iranian actress Soraya Hekmat says, “The landlord has increased the rent. I have decided to sell my furniture and send my daughter to the dormitory with the money and set up a tent in the street for myself. I tried to take my life twice but wasn’t successful. I still haven’t paid my dentist expenses. I don’t know what happens to the entire budget in this country? Why must I not have a share of it after all these years of acting?” (NCRI Women’s Committee – August 6, 2014)
An old mother and widow, seen in this picture, is begging and trying to make ends meet for her two daughters, one who is deaf. After her farm was confiscated by agents of the Iranian regime, she has been forced to sell cigarettes on the streets of Ahvaz.
Another woman in Tehran was selling her goods after she was transferred by the police and municipality agents for not having proper clothing. This raised anger amongst bystanders. (NCRI Women’s Committee – November 11, 2014)
Rahmattolah Hafezi, Chair of the Health and Environment Commission in the city council, announced that over 3,000 homeless women are sleeping in Tehran streets. Regime official acknowledged that the clerical regime has not provided any shelter for these wretched women. This is at a time when the cold season has caused harsher conditions for the poor and in the past two weeks people in 14 provinces are living in difficult conditions due to the heavy snow and rain fall. (Tasnim News Agency, affiliated with the terrorist Qods Force – November 21).
Hossein Zare-sefat, director of the Prosperity, Services and Social Participation Organization said, “Around 25% of beggars are women. The rising trend of the number of beggars in Tehran has increased compared to the past.”
Seyed Hassan Mousavi Chalak, head of the mullahs’ Social Assistants Association said, “People should not allow their emotions be misused. Aiding such people can lead to an increase in the number of beggars.” (State-run Mehr news agency – December 25, 2014)
Disaster awaiting homeless women sleeping in the streets
Tehran city council member Rasoul Khodadad says a number of homeless people sleeping in the streets are now suffering from diseases such as Hepatitis, AIDS, gall and louse, the state-run Tabnak website reported. However, Health Ministry hospitals are not accepting them due to the fact that they don’t have any credit or money.
In Tehran hotbed facilities no longer have any more room for addicted homeless women. In Tehran alone there are more than 15,000 people sleeping in the street, according to the director general of the municipality welfare organization. This is while hotbed facilities in this city only have the capacity to accept 5,000 people. This means a catastrophe in the making where homeless women and children that sleep on the streets will suffer the most. (State-run Tabnak website – May 24, 2015)
Aria News, a state-run news source, issued a report on the terrible conditions of women in Iran. It wrote that the number of homeless pregnant women in Tehran is on the rise. There are over 15,000 homeless people only in Tehran.
According to this news source, Daneshvar – Head of the city councils’ social committee – said, “We are faced with the rise of the presence of homeless pregnant women and children.”(Aria News – May 30, 2015)
The state-run Tasnim news agency wired a short report on more homeless women sleeping in the streets.“In the past few years Iran’s society has been witnessing an increase in the rate of homeless people sleeping in the streets,” the report reads.
The director general of the Tehran municipality and welfare organization said, “More and more women are seen sleeping in the streets.”
Searching for security in dark alleys
Women are seen sleeping in the streets without any security, along with 17 and 18 year old girls who have either fled home or are in the streets because of addiction. They have spent many nights in such conditions.
Addiction to ‘glass’ & crack threatening the lives of homeless women
Drug addiction amongst homeless women sleeping in the streets has caused more and more damages. Addiction to glass, crack and heroine amongst women force them to resort to any prostration, from selling their children to gathering trash on the streets. This has reached a point where greenhouses in Tehran no longer have any room for homeless addicted women. (State-run Tasnim news agency – June 24, 2015)
Sale of homeless women’s unborn children
A university professor who slept on the streets for a few nights says in Iran infants are sold before even being born. Dr. Chitchian says the status of homeless people sleeping in the streets is so dire that infants are sold while they are still in their mother’s wombs at a mere price of 17.5 million rials (just around $500).
The mullahs’ Interior Ministry reported 18 million Iranians are living in unofficial residential facilities.
Interior Minister director general Reza Mahbubi referred to the decrease in the country’s social wealth. He rated the country 14 and Tehran as 10 on a scale from 1 to 20.
“These numbers are truly concerning. I cannot provide many of the numbers because reporters are present and this is an open-door session,” he stipulated.
(State-run Meh news agency – August 22, 2015)
The mullahs’ blatant misogynist policies and crackdown on women, along with poverty and unemployment, all provide the grounds necessary for enormous social damages inflicted on women. One of the fast-growing dilemmas is drug addiction. The mullahs’ regime has no solution for this predicament other than further crackdown. This regime also resorts to executing convicts involved in drugs and other social damages, who are all victims of the mullahs’ unpopular policies.
In this regard, Zahra Bonianian, Secretary General of ‘Fight Against Narcotics Headquarters’ advisor in women and family affairs said, “60% of 7,377 female prisoners across the country are jailed due to addiction”.
“68% of these woman are between 20 and 39 years old, the best age of one’s life for social economic activities,” she said.
“It is noticeable that more than 50% of addicted woman have started using drugs when they were between 15 and 19 years old. Therefore, the related bodies announce these ages as critical so that special plans can be performed for arousing awareness among young girls” she added.
Bonianian said that 62% of all addicted women are married.
“Nonetheless, we cannot expect sudden positive events,” she added.
On the issue of these women’s educational level she said statistics show that 3% of the addicted women are illiterates, 15% have primary school education, 15% elementary school education, 41% diploma, 9% are two-year college graduates 10% have B.S diploma. (Mehr state-run News Agency- Jan. 25, 2014)
The Iranian Interior Minister, Abdulreza Rahmani Fazli announced that the rate of female addicts has doubled. Pointing to new issues raised at the Vienna summit he said, “The two issues focused on in the summit by European, South American and Central Asian countries which have been put on their agenda until 2016 to be ratified as a United Nations convention, are the elimination of execution for drug offenders and the legalization of drug use. We have obstructed both issues because when we say these individuals must be executed, it is in accordance to the law of our country.”
(State-run Tabnak Website- Mar. 20, 2014)
Babak Dinparast, deputy director for reducing addiction in the Anti-Narcotics Headquarters said, “The negative and damaging consequences of female addicts are more serious than males. There are 130,000 female addicts in the country and the 15% rise in the death rate of female addicts is a warning. Despite the 3.2% decrease in deaths caused by drug abuse and a 5% decrease of deaths among male addicts in 2013, unfortunately statistics show a 15% rise in the death rate of female addicts.” (ILNA state-run news agency- May 17, 2014)
Zahra Faraji, director general of the Office of Women and Family Affairs in Central Province says, “Unfortunately, the rate of addiction increasing among women has increased from 5.4 percent last year to 9.8 percent this year and this is a serious threat for families. Unfortunately, the age of addiction among women has decreased and reached teenage years.”
Mohammad Zidvand, secretary of the Council of Narcotics in Central Provinces, says in this regard, “The lack of medical centers for women where they can receive treatment for addiction is a major problem. In Arak’s DIC treatment center, the capacity of addicted women is normally very limited and three other such medical centers that exist, lack any official legal permissions.” (Mehr state-run news agency – July 20, 2014)
Reports from inside Iran show a six-year-old girl by the name of Elham selling narcotics and saying her father gives her four batches to sell to addicts…The phenomenon of narcotics being sold by children is increasing more and more in Iran these days and unfortunately the effects of this has led to an increase in addiction amongst children. The mullahs’ regime ruling Iran is not only refusing to take any measures against this matter, in fact they are taking advantage of this.
It is noteworthy that Elham is not the first child seen selling drugs on Iranian streets and she is only one example among thousands.
(NCRI Women’s Committee – August 2, 2014)
Based on published reports from the anti-narcotics department in Iran, 9.3% of the 1,325,000 drug addicts in the country are women. They range from 15 to 64 years of age. 62% of them are married, 35% are single girls and 3% are divorced or widowed. In all, 44% of them are under the age of 30. The education level of 67% of these women is higher than high school. The most common drugs used are opium, crystal and crack. (Asr-e Iran – August 23, 2014)
The Iranian regime’s vice president Shahindokht Molaverdi said 70 percent of addicted women become addicted through their husbands and they begin distributing or consuming drugs due to pressures, threats, fear of or sympathy for their husbands. The growing rate of addiction among women is higher than that of men. (State-run Asr-e Iran website – September 10, 2014)
This regime’s official later wrote, “The age of addicted women and girl is seriously dropping. The age of most girls using drugs for the first time is in their teens. Over 60% of female prisoners have crimes related to narcotics. The death ratio of women addicts in 2013 increased 16% in comparison to one year prior. According to recent studies from March 2012 to March 2013 the spread of narcotics across the country has increased over 92%, calling it as very concerning. The number of girls using narcotics has increased 500 folds. They are starting to change their use of ordinary products to industrial drugs. No one is immune to this phenomenon.” (State-run ‘Asr-e Iran’ daily – July 29, 2013)
Ali Larijani, the Iranian regime’s parliament speaker reported on 220 thousand abortions in Iran and said, “The issue cannot be calculated according to normal standards.” (Asr-e Iran state-run news agency – July 14, 2014)
Marzieh Farshad, an official in Isfahan Province said, “We must take into consideration that the trend of street women under the age of 18 in Isfahan Province has become concerning.” (ILNA state-run news agency – July 21, 2014)
According to the report in state-run Javan website, more than 60% of the 5000 addicts in Mazandaran province are educated women generally between the ages of 13 and 30. There are over 250 imprisoned women in this province, 1343 single mothers providing for their family, adding up to 10.8% of the province’s families. Financial issues and trying to make ends meet are the most common problems of single mothers. (Javan Reporters’ Club – November 27, 2014)
According to Javid Sobhani, a member of the Children Rights Association in Iran, at least 32% of intermediate and high school girls have experienced sexual harassment and child molestation at very young ages in this country. Iran’s Health Organization said last year that addiction, divorce, child molestation and harassment by husbands are amongst the major social damages in this country. (Radio Zamaneh – August 2, 2014)
The text on a 50,000 rials ($1.6) bill reads, “My addicted father gave me to our landlord for one night and received this cash bill. Dear God, on the Day of Judgment, I will ask you first ‘Why’? Fereshteh, 17, from Urumieh” (NCRI Women’s Committee – August 8, 2014)
The head of Iran’s Aids Research Center said, “Most cases of HIV infections are found in cases of molestation of street children and child workers.” He previously said that from the 1000 children studied, 4% to 5% were infected with HIV. Most of these victims are within the ages of 10 to 18. (Zamaneh Radio – September 19, 2014)
Khosro Mansourian, the founder of a so-called association in support of social victims in Iran, referred to 40% of street children being diagnosed with HIV and said, “The number of children suffering from
this virus is actually higher than the current statistics. Children suffering from AIDS are troubled with a very difficult life because they will have to consume medication until the end of their lives, deal with harsh infections, have emotional difficulties of being an orphan resulting from their AIDS-inflicted parents who have lost their lives, loneliness and the social disgrace because of their illness. Most of them are also desperately trying to make ends meet and always very poor.” (State-run ISNA news agency – December 27, 2014)
Statistics in Iran show that currently 70% of people infected with HIV have been diagnosed with aids through injections and 15% through sexual relations. However, the alarming point is that 60% of those infected by sexual relations are women, which means that in the near future, just like other African countries, every Iranian family would have one or more member infected with HIV. (Zamaneh Radio- March 9, 2014)
The Aids department of the Ministry of Health announced the recorded HIV/AIDS cases in Iran in a report. The reports states, “Until mid-March, 27,888 individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS have been recognized among which 88.7% are men and 11.3% are women. The reason for their infection to this disease has been: 67.6% drug injection; 13.4% sexual relations; and 1.2% transfer from mother to child.” (Asr-e Iran – August 20, 2014)
A new wave of AIDS is advancing in Iran. Statistical details show this wave has targeted women more than ever. Official numbers show 35% of those suffering from AIDS in 2012 were women. In addition, the age of infected individuals is decreasing. Of all those suffering from this disease 11% are between the ages of 15 to 24 and 37% are between 25 to 34 years of age. (State-run Tasnim news agency – October 14, 2014)
Hygiene and medical care
Women’s rights are trampled and inequality is abundant when there is a lack of hygiene and medical care.
Based on the official definition of the International Hygiene Organization, health means, ‘full mental, physical and social welfare and tranquility’ and not only ‘lack of illness or amputation’.
In Iran, almost every important post in the Ministry of Hygiene and Treatment and medical education are occupied by men.
A female student of Miandoab’s Bakeri University (northwestern Iran), Parvin Haqiri, 21, got infected in her kidneys for drinking contaminated water at the dormitory and lost her life. She was from Nodesheh City in Kermanshah Province.
Her family was threatened by the Iranian regime’s intelligence force not to have any interviews with the media regarding her death. (Kurdpa- March 4, 2014)
On December 6, 2012 a classroom in a western Iranian village erupted in flames because of the poor condition in the heating system. Two girls died and several suffered severe burns. The 12 elementary school girls who were severely burnt in that accident, received only half of the government’s compensation for medical care. “The regime paid only 50% of the insurance stating that the victims were females. The compensation was according to older rates. Additionally, the forensics office deliberately reported a lower percentage of their burn” one of the lawyers said.
According to Iran’s Islamic criminal codes, if the percentage of damages to a female are more than one third (of the body), the compensation is reduced by half. As a result 12 school girls suffering from high percentages of burns, received less compensation for their medical care. (Radio Zamaneh – August 2, 2014)
The burnt girls protested in front of the mullahs’ president’s office in Tehran on 30 August against the unfulfilled promises by senior government officials and chanted, “For what crime was I burnt? I am a girl and I was supposed to build my country’s future.”
Ameneh Rok, a Shin Abadi elementary school student stated, “Two years after the incident they are not paying our expenses nor our parents’ unemployment pensions and they are not giving us any answers.”
On September 1, 2014, the families were promised fair compensation. However, according to Morad Ma’roufi – father of one of the victims –nothing has been given to these girls so far. (Kurdpa – December 7, 2014)
The schoolgirls rallied again on 16 August, along with their families outside Rouhani’s office in Tehran. (State-run Tabnak website – August 16, 2014)
Iran’s state-run Tasnim News wrote, “One, out of every 7-8 women in Iran are at high risk of breast cancer due to pollution and unhealthy food. The age of breast cancer patients in Iran is 10 years younger than global standards.” This is while breast cancer is being controlled by preventive measures and changes in lifestyle in many countries. (State-run Tasnim website – August 17, 2014)
Siyavosh Biranvand, from the treatment lab at Lorestan Medical Science University said, “Some of the deaths, especially the deaths of mothers, are clear. During the past year, 9 mothers have lost their lives in this province. Some of the pregnant mothers lose their lives due to living in areas with rough terrains because the inhabitants of these areas must travel 11 hours on foot to reach a place that will allow them to use their mobile phones. In these areas there isn’t even one literate person to give training to pregnant women.” (ISNA – August 20, 2014)
A woman in Kuhdasht city, in Western Iran, had to give birth to her newborn baby in a hospital toilet because the hospital refused to provide her any services. Parvaneh, the young woman, was told that to get medical care, she had to travel a long distance to another city, because there was no physician at the clinic at the time. The woman, already suffering from the contractions, went to the hospital toilet, which had no light. She gave birth to her daughter under the light of a cell phone, with the help of a relative! (NCRI Women’s Committee – August 17, 2014)
On 16 September, a pregnant woman by the name of Sareh Khatoun Dahshti was transferred to a hospital in Bandar Jask, yet due to the lack of the needed medications and blood, both the mother and baby lost their lives. A close relative said that the town of Jask doesn’t have an obstetrician and the town’s medical center lacks the most basic facilities. In the enclosed document, the hospital’s anesthesiologist acknowledged the patient’s critical conditions and the lack of medication and blood. (NCRI Women’s Commission – September 20, 2014)
Mehrkhane.com, a state-run website in Iran, has published a report on the dire conditions of women in Iran and their deprivation of the most basic hygiene and medical care necessities:
“Pregnant woman dies in Ahvaz hospital due to absence of medical specialist”, “Pregnant woman dies in Lodab due to absence of a physician”, “Three young mothers die in Gonabad in span of six months” are the titles of news reports showing many women in Iran are losing their lives due to the fact that they are living in regions deprived of medical supplies and specialists.
The fact that women medical specialists are not equally distributed across the country is nothing new. It has been years that women in deprived areas are suffering numerous problems due to lack of 24-hour medical treatment centers, lack of adequate supplies and equipment in medical centers, absence of female specialists, obstetricians and other hygiene and medical services. Currently many towns don’t have even one female specialist. For example, in the provinces of Kerman, Kurdistan, Lorestan, Sistan & Baluchistan, Hormozgan, Bushehr, Southern Khorasan and even Khorasan Razavi one can vividly see how physicians are not orderly distributed.
Maryam is a woman living in Bandar Lange in Hormozgan Province (southern Iran). She is pregnant and due to illnesses such as appendix pains, problems after giving birth and infection she has been forced to go to the city of Bandar Abbas.
“In Bandar Lange we only have one medical center and there is only one obstetrician. There is a Shohada Hospital without any medical specialist and people are forced to go to Bandar Abbas or the city of Yazd. There are a lot of medical restrictions imposed on us,” she said.
Sahar is another young woman living in the city of Sabzevar, northeastern Iran, and she refers to the lack of bare minimums. She talks about women who need caesarean surgery when they cannot undergo natural childbirths. However, due to the lack of medical specialists, their surgery is carried out in a way that they suffer serious infections afterwards.
This state-run source stipulated: What has been mentioned is just a tip of the iceberg for women in deprived areas. Such difficulties end in people losing their lives. (State-run Mehrkhane website – August 23, 2015)
Women targeted by violence
Amir Hamze Zinali, jurist and crime expert says, “In Iran there is no organized criminal policy for female victims of violence. This has led to the spread of violence against women. Lawmakers across the globe have defined harsher punishments for crimes against women. However, our lawmakers have done nothing and in fact they have acted quite the opposite. Regarding the crime of beatings or murder, if the victim is a woman the blood money is lower and this makes women more vulnerable. In 1958 an article was approved regarding the crime of acid attacks, while some believe this law has been completely abolished.”(State-run Bahar News Website – December 23, 2014)
According to unofficial statistics, 66% of Iranian women are victims of violence at least once through the course of their lives; 50% of Iranian women have endured violence and only an average of 44% of this violence is reported to authorities, while many other cases may never be officially registered.
A 20% increase in violence in Iran and the high rate of crime means violence is becoming regular.
Following an investigation by psychological students in Kurdistan Province, violence against women has reached 88%. In only one year, 64 cases of death and 38 injuries have been registered.
Out the 38 injury cases, 34 ended up with death and four with serious injuries.
No legal follow-ups on the murder of women increases murders and violence in the society. A recent example were the murders of two female Kurdish college students in Orumieh, where no follow-ups were made.
On November 10, 2014, a Kurdish college girl was found murdered in Orumieh’s Nazli University, with a cyanide pill. Shilan Roshandel, 22, lived in this university’s dormitory and was infected with cyanide. She went to a hospital and lost her life. While the young woman was studying political sciences, the university security had warned her she must not take part in political debates.
Following this murder the university’s security officials warned the young woman’s family they must not inform the media. It is noteworthy that back in March another young female student by the name of Sheida Hatami was murdered with cyanide in the same university. She was studying advanced geology and biology and officials attempted to portray her murder as a suicide. (NCRI Women’s Committee – November 12, 2014)
Laws in Iran inject violence into the society and lead to an increase in violence. Women’s movement activists describe these laws and bills as imposing flagrant violence on women, especially the women of the deprived classes. Important issues such as temporary marriages, the decrease of age of marriage for girls and the reactionary articles of the anti-family bill, the ‘virtue and hijab’ plan, inequality in the workplace, lower wages for women in equal work compared to men, women workers being expelled from work, especially pregnant women, economic pressure on women caretakers of families and inequality in finding employment are very clear symbols of imposing violence against women included in the Iranian regime’s laws. Therefore, in Iran’s society violence is actually legal and the Iranian regime doesn’t want to stop this cycle of violence. (Kurdpa – November 25, 2014)
Mohammad Ali Esfanani, spokesperson for the Judicial Commission of the Iranian regime’s parliament, admitted that the number of deaths as a result of violence for women between 15 to 44 is equal to the number of deaths resulting from cancer. Yet at the same time, less than 35% of domestic violence is reported to the police. He explained that 87.9% of married women in the city of Tehran are suffering from mental abuse by their husbands and 47.9% of them are victims of sexual and other kinds of abuses. Therefore, among the 180 cases of complaints made by women because of domestic violence, 128 cases didn’t want to follow up on their complaints for various reasons. (Radio Farda – November 29, 2014)
Abbas Sheikh al-Islami, dean of Mashhad’s Azad University said, “In Iran, out of 180 cases of violence against women, 128 are closed as plaintiffs withdraw their complaints. Women victimized by their husbands or families either refuse to file a complaint or withdraw their cases during the course. Penal laws do not resolve the problems of Iranian women.” (State-run IRNA news agency – December 6, 2014)
Ensieh Zamani, 13, lost her life at midnight 27 of April in Baneh (western Iran). She lived in her stepfather’s house. An informed source said, “There were signs of beatings and injuries on her body and she lost her life to rape.” In another event in Sardasht, Nishtaman Rahmanzadeh, 24, was shot by her brothers for having a relationship with a boy. She was seriously wounded by four bullets to her stomach and thighs. (Kurdpa news agency- May 3, 2014)
The body of Maryam Ranjbar resident of Charbaq district in the southern city of Bandar Abbas was found in the desert outside the city. Residents say during the past two weeks, suspicious deaths have increased across the city.
Another woman named Farahnaz Davand, 32, was abducted in the district of Bahman and there is no further news of her whereabouts. Her family’s inquiries through SSF centers have had no result yet. (NCRI- May 6, 2014)
A man set his wife on fire in front of their 5-year-old child. The man named Meisam, burned his house and wife with gasoline after an argument as a result of unemployment and addiction. Marzieh, 30, was transferred to a hospital for burns however, the young mother died due to the extent of her injuries. (ISNA state run news agency – June 17, 2014)
Hadith Yasaminezhad, 19, was murdered by her father in her own house, with a hunting rifle. The young girl was given away to be married at the age of 13, has one child and had decided to divorce her husband. (Kurdpa – July 21, 2014)
A father of two girls by the names of ‘Negin’ and ‘Negar’ aged 7 and 12 years old took his girls to an abandoned garden in a town called Shahr-e Reza and hung them. He then called his brother, told him he is tired of his life and confessed to killing his daughters and said he will commit suicide. (ISNA state-run news agency – July 23, 2014)
A young woman named Sara living in the city of Mariwan (Kurdistan Province) was murdered by her husband on July 23, 2014. Sara’s husband stabbed her in the head and then hung her to make it appear as if she committed suicide.
Golaleh, a 24-year-old woman was viciously murdered by her husband and father-in-law as her body was mutilated into pieces in Baneh on October 23, 2014. Aram Moludi, Golaleh’s husband, said his wife had cheated on him. The Iranian regime’s judiciary has to this day not taken any measures to follow up on the murder. (NCRI Women’s Committee – October 30, 2014)
Maria Khanbegi, a 26-year-old woman, died in a hospital on 16 November, two weeks after her husband set her ablaze. She was killed with gasoline on “honor” allegations. (NCRI Women’s Committee – November 19, 2014)
Sarwa, a 19-year-old Kurdish woman from the city of Dehgolan is in critical conditions and struggling for her life after being attacked by her brother. Sarwa’s brother attempted to behead her, who had fled home due to differences and family disputes. (NCRI Women’s Committee – January 4, 2015)
Such social conditions and basic rights violations force women into despair and finally suicide.
Fahimeh Farahmandpour, the advisor to women’s affairs at the Interior Ministry said, “The number of cases of depression is on the rise amongst educated girls. Due to the lack of sport, cultural, educational and recreational facilities, girls in lower developed cities have no path other than to enter college in order to optimize their lives, capacities and abilities…. 60% of those entering colleges today are girls …. Now we have unemployed women with bachelor degrees instead of unemployed women with a high school diploma, and this has created an imbalance in the society.” (Iran Press News – August 21, 2014)
Professor Moharari Shiraz, head of Tehran’s Neurology and Psychiatric Hospital said, “Women are depressed twice as much as men. The percentage of depression amongst women is 14 to 19%, while it is between 5 to 12% for men.”
A physician in the hospital explains, “Fundamental depression is one of the most common psychological illnesses and its symptoms include feeling grief from within, low self-confidence and lack of interest in any type of activities or daily pleasures.” (Khabar Online – October 5, 2014)
Susan Bastani, a deputy in the so-called Iranian regime’s President’s office admitted, “Suicide, violence and marital affairs are the results of depression among women. This issue needs more attention.” (NCRI Women’s Committee – November 24, 2014)
Suicide rates are so high, especially in Kurdish regions, that they have literally become a daily routine and are not even posted in social media. Suicides reported during the past year by the NCRI Women’s Committee alone reached 31 cases.
The image before you is two sisters, 11 and 14 years-old, who set themselves ablaze and died in the town of Doroud in Lorestan Province, on the morning of 26 November. Kolthum and Najmeh Baghai, were forced to marry a while ago based on the regime’s misogynist law. They self-immolated themselves and died in protest. (NCRI Women’s Committee – November 30, 2014)
Among the women who have chosen to die instead of continuing their lives under the mullahs’ oppression, one was pregnant while 8 others left their young children behind.
Nine of these women were innocent youths under the age of 20, including four sisters and a 16-year-old teenage girl along with her mother who committed suicide together by setting themselves ablaze.
Thirteen others committed suicide after being left with no hope as a result of the regime’s daily executions; nine others chose the harshest way to die through self-immolation.
Women were ranked first in two fields during Rouhani’s tenure: “Suffering from depression” and “Number of self-immolation cases in Middle East countries”
The state-run Tabnak website wrote in a report on the status of women and girls in Iran: “The latest statistics of psychological disorder spreading amongst women is 26% and 15% amongst men, showing women are ranked first with an 11% differential on depression!”
Based on published numbers, 15 to 28% of Iranian women suffer from depression. (State-run Tabnak website – June 22, 2015)
The state-run Payam website posted another report referring to the high number of self-immolation cases:
The number of suicides in Iran has witnessed an increasing trend, recent investigations show. In this country 40% of all suicides are through setting oneself afire.
Iran is ranked 39th in the world in suicides. However, this country is 1st in the Middle East for suicides through setting oneself afire.
Furthermore, Iran is the third country regarding the fastest growing trend of executions.
Most of the suicides have taken place in the provinces of Ilam, Khuzestan and Chahar Mahal & Bakhtiari, reports indicate. (State-run Payam website – June 26, 2015)
Suppression of religious and ethnic minorities
Under the mullahs’ religious rule nothing other than the complete approval to the Iranian regime’s so-called supreme leader is tolerated. Shiite Muslims are prosecuted, torture and executed for their beliefs in the separation of church and state. In such an atmosphere of crackdown, no rights are left for other religions or beliefs, and they are deprived of their most fundamental and basic social rights.
Baha’is are seriously repressed by the mullahs.
On 27 October 2013, Nasim Baqeri, a Baha’i citizen cooperating with Baha’is’ virtual university was condemned to 4 years of hard labor imprisonment on charge of ‘acting against national security by being a member of Baha’is’ educational institute’.
Also on 2 November 2013, another Baha’I citizen, Anisa Dehqani from Isfahan whose six-month prison term was sanctioned by Khorasan Province’s revision court referred to Mashhad’s Vakil Abad Prison on Saturday, Nov. 2nd, to serve his term.
Mashhad Revolution Court condemned Anisa for ‘propagation against the establishment’ and ‘membership in Beha’ies’ organization’.
According to a decree issued by branch 20 of Khorasan Razavi Province’s revision court, the primary sentence for two Baha’i sisters, Nika and Nava Kholosi Einan was approved. They are sentenced to 4.5 years of hard labor in prison on accusation of ‘publicizing against the system’ and having ‘membership in an illegal Baha’i organization’. (Kurdpa- March. 1, 2014)
Three residents of the Baha’i faith in the eastern city of Mashhad, including two women were arrested by security forces and transferred to an unknown location. Their names were identified as Dori Amri and Mey Kholusi. Agents searched their houses until midnight and left the premises after confiscating their computers, books and religious images, according to incoming reports.
They were transferred to the quarantine section of Vakil Abad Prison after being detained for two months in the intelligence department. The reason for their detention or charges raised against them have not been disclosed to this date. (Hrana – August 3, 2014)
In early October, their temporary detention has been extended for another month. It is noteworthy that Shayan Tafazoli and Dori Amri were arrested without a court order. However, they were charged with ‘propaganda against the establishment’ after being imprisoned. (NCRI Women’s Committee – October 7, 2014)
Susan Tabianian from Semnan province (central Iran) was arrested by agents of the Intelligence Ministry in late March 2014. These agents raided her house and transferred her to an unknown location. They also confiscated her photos, books and computer. Tabianian was previously imprisoned once in 2010 until 2011.
She is currently left in a limbo status in the city’s central prison, distanced from other female prisoners.
“Susan Tabianian was arrested with a 7-day order, however despite being held for 17 days since that date, she has neither been taken to court, nor have they agreed to release her,” an informed source said. (Hrana, June 17, 2014)
In late October, Tabianian was sentenced to one year in jail. In addition, all her belongings related to the Baha’i faith were confiscated. These orders were confirmed word by word in an appeals court.
Susan Tabianian, mother of two children aged 7 and 12, was convicted of conducting interviews with foreign media outlets about the Baha’i community’s poor economic status. Susan went to the city’s revolution court on 24 December and was transferred to prison. She is the only Baha’i woman in Semnan Prison. (NCRI Women’s Committee – December 29, 2014)
Security agents inspected the home of a Baha’i citizen named Rashin Saberi in the city of Tabriz (North) and summoned her for questioning on July 13, 2014. Security agents entered her home disguised as postmen and after searching her residence, they confiscated her religious books, some jewelry, prayer books and laptop. The agents thus gave her papers summoning her to the intelligence bureau on Tuesday. (NCRI Women’s Committee – July 20, 2014)
Bahiyeh Manavi, an Iranian Baha’i citizen, was arrested in Shiraz (south-west) on 5 August along with three men. They were transferred to an unknown location and there is no detailed information of their whereabouts. (NCRI Women’s Committee – August 14, 2014)
Ruhieh Ghavami-Nik was detained and transferred to Evin prison after being summoned by the Intelligence Department of Karaj, by phone. Ruhieh has not been permitted a phone call with her relatives nor her 4-year-old daughter. There is no information on the reason for her arrest. (NCRI Women’s Committee – August 18, 2014)
On the morning of 20 August 20, SSF referred to the houses of a number of Baha’is living in Esfahan’s Shahin Shahr and after several hours of searching their belongings, they confiscated their computers and religious books, arrested them and took them to an unknown location for interrogation.
The arrested were two men and three women by the names of Azita Homayouni, Noushin Salekiyan, and Rashin Shahnazi. They were eventually released after interrogation and they were told that they would be informed about their court order, which they have to take part in. (NCRI Women’s Commission – August 23, 2014)
Shadan Shirazi, is a Baha’i girl ranked 113rd in this year’s pre-college math exams in Iran. She tried to find her test results on the reviewing organization’s website however, after entering her information she was informed to visit them in person. She later received a letter emphasizing that due to her religious beliefs she has not been accepted in college.
Another Baha’i girl by the name of Ruhieh Safaju was never able to get her exam results and her follow-ups with relevant organizations were futile. (NCRI Women’s Committee – September 10, 2014)
Other young Baha’i woman by the name of Tara Houshmand has been deprived of higher education despite passing annual nationwide exams. Tara Houshmand referred to the website of the reviewing organization, learning she was banned from continuing her education and has been summoned to the organization’s office.
Nora Sabet, 18, was banned from entering university despite gaining the required grades to enter medical school. She wrote, “I am Nora Sabet and like my friends, I was banned from entering university because of my Baha’i faith. It is now the 35th year that we have to endure this bias. This year, despite Rouhani’s promises nothing has changed. As an Iranian who wants to serve her country, must I go abroad to continue my studies? We want to live alongside our Muslim and non-Muslim compatriots. This is part of the pressure put on Baha’is by the Iranian regime. Dear friends, ending such suffering is in need of the solidarity and unity of all Iranians. Breaking the silence will bring change to the society and strengthen our collective power to build the future of our beloved nation.” (NCRI Women’s Commission – September 13, 2014)
Agents of the ministry of Intelligence in Shiraz (Southwest) went to the home of a Baha’i woman named Vahideh Dana and entered by force. Presenting their inspection order, they began searching the entire house and confiscating books, pictures and CDs regarding the Baha’i religion, leaving the residence after an a hour or so. (NCRI Women’s Committee – September 15, 2014)
Elka Misaqi, was kidnapped on 4 December in Tabriz. Men introducing themselves as Basij members forced her into their vehicle.
Elka was driven for many hours while being interrogated. She was then left stranded on the other side of the city. “This is a new kind of harassment against Baha’i residents,” an informed source said. (NCRI Women’s Committee – December 6, 2014)
On December 10, 2014, Mrs. Farahnaz Moghadam, a Baha’i resident of Orumieh, was summoned by the Orumieh Revolutionary Court and from there was sent to Orumieh prison. She had been condemned to three years imprisonment on charges of “promoting the Baha’i faith” and “propaganda against the establishment”. Her husband, Mr. Fardin Aghsani, was detained for the same reason ten days before. Another Baha’i citizen, Ms. Neda Forsati-Pour, was also sent to Orumieh prison in the past few days to serve a 6-year jail term. (NCRI Women’s Committee – December 14, 2014)
Nora Mosamma, a computer-engineer student of Mazandaran University was deprived of education after finishing one term.
“Despite the fact that she had honesty filled the registration form’s religion tab of being a Baha’i, she was first accepted at the university. However, as she attempted to receive the final term tests’ entry card through the Internet, she was recognized as a banned user and not allowed to enter the exams,” an informed source said. (NCRI women’s Committee – January 12, 2015)
The so-called revolution court in the city of Urumieh (northwestern) sentenced five Baha’i women to 162 months in prison for propaganda against the system and holding gatherings.
Based on the sentence, Mses. Farahnaz Moghadam and Gisu Sheikh Abadi each received 6 years prison and Neda Forsatipour, Nushin Mithaghi and Soheila Aghdasi each received 6 months in prison. The charges of Farahnaz Moghadam and Gisu Sheikh Abadi are “propaganda in support of Baha’is” and “propaganda against the system” by holding classes in their homes and promoting their faith to children and recruiting Muslims. The 5 Baha’i citizens have less than two weeks to request appeal on their sentences. (NCRI Women’s Committee – July 7, 2014)
On Sunday, July 13th, Ministry of Intelligence agents raided the home of a Bahaii family and arrested all 4 family member on charges of being Baha’I and teaching music. Those arrested included Farzad Bahadori, Farzad Bagheri, Simin Rasouli, Nasim Bahadori and Sahar Bahadori.
In another measure in July 2014, security agents in Tabriz entered the residence of a Bahaii citizen by the name of Ms. Shabnam Isa Khani disguised as post officials. They took video footage and searched her home, confiscating all her religious books and personal electronic devices, including her satellite receiver. They then arrested and transferred her to solitary confinement, depriving her of any visits from her family.
The arrests and harassments continued during the month of September. On Thursday, 11 September 2014, Ms. Saghi Fadai, Baha’i citizen from the city of Mashhad, after being summoned to the city’s revolutionary court, and taken to an unknown location.
On 15 September 2014, Ministry of Intelligence agents in the city of Shiraz went to the home of a Bahaii citizen by the name of Vahide Dana, and despite the fact that she was not willing to open the door they entered her home by force. Presenting their inspections order they began searching the entire house and confiscating all the books, pictures and CDs regarding the Bahaii religion, leaving the residence after an a hour or so.
The Rouhani government’s pressures and crackdown on Baha’is continued in 2015. On 12 February 2015, Farah Baghi, a Baha’i citizen from Yazd, went to the city’s central prison after security agents showed up at her home. She has gone to prison to serve her 1-year jail term.
She was also arrested back in 2011 along with 19 other Baha’i community members and all sentenced to 1 year in jail by the Yazd revolution court.
On 25 February, Fariba Ashtari, a Baha’i resident of Yazd, went to the central prison of this city in order to begin serving her jail time.This Baha’i citizen has been convicted to two years behind bars by the regime’s judiciary on charges of propaganda against the state and membership in a Baha’i association.
In April 2015, Farahnaz Mithaghian referred to the Yazd Prison to begin serving her one year jail term.
Mithaghian was arrested along with 20 others in August 2011 during the widespread arrests and detention of Baha’i citizens. She was sentenced to two years in jail; one year behind bars and one year on suspension.
The suppression and violation of the most basic rights of Baha’is in Iran, doesn’t only lead to their arrest and imprisonment. They even face the obstructions of state officials in the burial of their loved ones. In one instance, two days after the death of a Baha’i citizen by the name of ‘Ms. Baji Mohammad Far’, security and military forces are preventing her burial in Golestan Javid, the cemetery of Baha’is in Sanandaj, western Iran. The family of this Baha’i citizen has been told she will never be allowed to be buried there.
The right to education is another issue deprived from most Baha’is in Iran. Keeping their beliefs for them is equal to deprivation from education. In the most recent case, Darsa Gholizadeh, a college student studying construction in Ruzbahan University in the city of Sari in northern Iran, was expelled from school after being summoned by the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) news office during term exams in the spring of 2015. She wrote in a letter:
“When they learned about my interest in getting an education, they placed three proposals before me:
- Keep my faith and be deprived of education.
- Leave Iran to continue my education.
- The last solution was to repent from my faith.
In response I said: “People’s beliefs are in their heads, in their brains, in their hearts. You cannot get their beliefs from them.”
The interrogator said in response, “All right then, keep your faith and be deprived of education.”
Iran’s Christian community is amongst those discriminated under the mullahs’ rule.
Two Christian Kurdish women, who had been previously sentenced to two years in prison were arrested in the past two weeks and are now in the women’s ward of Mahabad prison. One of the Baha’I women, was arrested two weeks along with her brother Atta Baba’i. They were charged with “acting against national security”, and “publicizing Christianity”. The second woman, a friend of Bahai, was arrested last week. (NCRI Women’s Committee – August 14, 2014)
A Christian female writer named Zeinab Baba’i was transferred to Mahabad Central Prison on 8 August 8 to spend the rest of her jail term in that facility.
Prior to this she was arrested along with one of her friends on charges of “measures against the state” and “propagating Christianity”, and sentenced to two years behind bars. This ruling was confirmed by the West Azerbaijan Appeals Court.
Zeinab Baba’i has written three novels and a number of short stories as a series, all published in Farsi. (NCRI Women’s Committee – August 20, 2014)
Security forces in Isfahan arrested four new Christian converts in separate raids. On the morning of 2 September, security forces went to the residence of Hamid Reza Borhani and his wife, Zeinab Akbari, arresting them after searching their home and confiscating their personal belongings. Mrs. Malouk Rouhani was also arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence on September 3, 2014. Another lady named Sepideh was also arrested but there is no information about her. The arrestees have been transferred to a detention center in the counter-intelligence ward of Isfahan Central Prison. (NCRI Women’s Committee – September 3, 2014)
On 21 December 2014, only days before Christmas, the Ministry of Intelligence agents arrested a Christian woman. The MOIS agents raided to home of Ms. Akram Moheb Sabet in the city of Esfahan. They arrested her after searching her home. Despite the fact that she had two children, the MOIS agents deprived her of any visits for two weeks.
Sunni Muslim Kurds and Muslims believing in various theosophies, including the Dervish community, are severely repressed by the mullahs’ regime. Many of them face long jail terms and even death based on security charges and we referred to their cases in the initial sections of this book.
Evin Othmani, a 17 years old Kurdish girl from the City of Baneh was directly shot at by state police (SSF) on Thursday, 14 November and was killed.
The police shot her in her spinal cords and she died a day later in the hospital.
Kurdish Journalist and women’s rights activist Azar Taher-abadi, was summoned and interrogated for two hours by the Revolutionary Guards counter-intelligence unit in Kangavar on September 3, 2014. No reason has been given for Azar’s arrest, however she had published articles and reports in websites and dailies, and was active on social media. Azar has been summoned repeatedly by security entities in
Kermanshah and Tehran during the past 3 years. (NCRI Women’s Committee – September 5, 2014)
A Kurdish girl named Truske ranked 57 in this year’s nationwide college exams in Iran but has been denied higher education in a teachers’ university under the pretext that her height is 3 cm shorter than the required standards! In addition to this university, a number of other facilities that she sought to enter refused to accept her. Truske graduated with a score of 98.19 out of 100 from high school. (NCRI Women’s Committee – September 17, 2014)
Discrimination against women
According to the World Economic Forum, gender equality is improving across the globe. Medical services, life survival, education, profitmaking activities and participation of women in the work force and politics have improved.
Despite the global improvement, gender inequality has worsened in Iran. Iran under the mullahs’ is ranked 137 among 142 countries in gender inequality. (Associated Press – October 28, 2014)
The regime’s officials, even its female representatives affiliated to the mullahs’, are concerned of women rising to power in the society. They too place obstacles for women to reinforce inequality at all times.
Fahimeh Farahmandpour, the women and family advisor at the Ministry of Interior said, “Girls are becoming braver and stronger and boys are losing their self-confidence. We must be afraid of the future where girls wear running shoes and sports cloths and come out into the public. Based on religious teachings, women are not the family breadwinners and this must be reminded to women in the society.” (IRNA – August 19, 2014)
In his speech, the mullahs’ so-called Supreme Leader Khamenei once again demonstrated the medieval regime’s misogynist ideology and brazenly said, “If we want our vantage point on the issue of women be sound, logical, accurate and unshackling, then we must distance ourselves from the Western mindset in issues such as employment and gender equality. Gender equality of women and men is one of the utterly wrong convictions of the West” that is “obsolete” and “treacherous”.” While according to the official statistics of the regime where millions of women are the breadwinners of their families and are living in very difficult conditions, Khamenei says, “Employment is not among the principal issues that relate to women; family has priority” and “if women don’t assume any jobs, it is not disgraceful.” He called the right to equal opportunity for employment as an “exploiting stance towards the capacity of women in economic issues” and one of the “utterly cruel and reactionary” mindsets of the West.
He added, “With what logic should we bring women that physically and sentimentally have been created by God for a special part of life to realms that cause them hardship? Even if there is a difference in this matter, it is not against justice because we should not impose fields of study or occupations on women that are unsuitable for their nature.”
Khamenei’s statements are in violation of many international laws and conventions, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. This is a regime that has arrested, tortured and executed tens of thousands of women struggling for freedom and tens of millions of women and girls suffer from all kinds of discriminations and deprivations under its rule so far. (NCRI Women’s Committee – April 20, 2014)
A religious leader, Safi Golpaygani objected to women being appointed as District Governors by the Interior Ministry and said, “This is not in accordance with women’s dignity and the Islamic government has to revise such measures.” (Asre Iran state-run website – May 3, 2014)
The debate of reducing working hours for women has become problematic to the extent that representatives of the Iranian regime’s parliament (Majlis) are opposing it too. Mohammad Esmail Saidee, member of the Majlis’s Social Commission pointed to the examination of the bill for reducing working hours for women and said, “This bill suggests reducing the work of women from 44 to 36 hours”. He confessed, “I believe that we can’t solve the problem of women by this process, instead their job security will be endangered by implementing such programs.” (ISNA state-run news agency – May 31, 2014)
According to statistics the average income of women in jobs equal to that of men is 23% less. The difference of paychecks have been reviewed in numerous fields. As woman are considered as second-class citizens, employers have taken advantage of women’s work at the lowest cost. (Asr-e Iran state-run news website daily, July 8, 2014)
Layla Falahati, Women’s study group director in the Ministry of Science said, “Although in recent years women have worked alongside men and bear part of the living expenses, there is always a traditional look at working women. Men are still known as the breadwinners. Such a gender biased look definitely has a great role in the women’s unemployment rate.” She legitimized this discrimination by saying, “It isn’t logical for an employer to hire a female who after pregnancy will have to be paid for 9 months of absence. The employer prefers to hire a male worker. Currently the number of female university graduates is more than men yet their chances to be employed is less.” (State-run Mehr news agency – July 21, 2014)
Mehdi Bagheri, a banking expert said, “Mothers don’t have the permission to open short-term or long-term bank accounts for their children. The opening of an account must be made in the presence of the father. This is a legal issue and comes from Articles 1180 and 1181 of the Civil Code. All banks, especially government banks, must abide by it.” (ILNA state-run news agency – August 11, 2014)
According to an official in Iran’s Interior Ministry, “Women have only 10 percent of the country’s total revenue and own one percent of property.”
Another official declared, “Around 12% of Iranian women are employed and this number would rise to 14% in the best circumstances. On the other hand, 3% of MPs are women and 12.1% of women are caretakers of their families, while 82% of them are unemployed. Iran is heading towards women becoming the main caretakers of their families, women growing much older and also most of those living under poverty line are women.” (Radio Zamaneh – August 28, 2014)
A number of lawyers and women’s rights activists cited Iran’s constitution and international laws such as the “Convention on Prohibiting Segregation in Education” of which Iran is a member of, to protest against gender rationing and eliminating a number of college courses for women. They have taken complaints against the Ministry of Sciences and 36 colleges to the Supreme Court. Women’s rights activists commented on the gender inequality found in school books and said, “In educational books, men are seen exercising, planting trees, motorcycling, while women are shown as assistants of police officers. Men are always carrying out the more dangerous, powerful and authoritarian roles such as tribal leaders and kings, while women lack any such authority…. Jobs given to women are teaching and sewing, reminding everyone of women’s tradition roles….” (Radio Zamaneh – August 28, 2014)
On the plan of gender segregation, Giti Pourfazel, lawyer of Sattar Beheshti, a blogger who was killed by Iran’s security police said, “Such plans are not in line with the society and the era we are currently living in and implementing such plans will be an insult to the people. Such plans will not bear any results because of the resistance from the society and women.” (State-run IRNA news agency- Aug. 31, 2014)
The regulations imposing gender segregation in Isfahan’s Dowlat Abad University continues to expand since 2013.
Iran’s Deputy Health Minister in Educational Affairs introduced a new plan called ‘Gender Balancing at Medical Sciences Universities’, which limits women’s acceptance at universities. As its first step toward this policy the Hygiene Ministry announced a first plan. Sharq Paper wrote, “The Hygiene Ministry has started to put limitations on women while nearly twenty years women have been the most accepted gender in medical fields’. According to official figures issued by the Iranian Statistics Center in 1991, from sixty five thousand medical students, 37 thousand were men and 27 thousand women, but after 1997 females succeeded to obtain more opportunities and the number of female students in medical fields reached 72 thousand while the number of men educating in these area is 52 thousand. Women’s roles continued increasing and in 2006 female medical students became 73 percent while the men were more than 26 percent. Duration of this process resulted in 68 percent girls in comparison with 32 percent men in 2010 which is the same during the current academic year. However Rohani’s government passed a doubled urgency plan in the Hygiene and Treatment Committee of the parliament to correct the equality in high educations rule. According to this plan, the 25 percent women’s quota in the mostly wanted fields of surgery assistance was eliminated and midwifery as well as women specialty was 100 percent reserved for women.
However, the number of women accepted in universities does not lead to more opportunities in social and economic jobs. The number of women employment still has a great distance to men employment. Only 20 percent of women are members of scientific boards and only 13 percent of them have effective roles in the Iranian job market.” (Radio Zamaneh- April. 6, 2014)
Iran’s gender inequality rating was one of the main reports that came out in July 2014 and revealed the degree of discrimination against women in Iran.
This report stated that among 152 countries across the globe, Iran has been rated at 109 in gender inequality.
The report grades countries from 0 to 1.00 and the higher the number, the worst the gender inequality. Last year, Iran had received a 0.496 grade. This means that gender inequality has intensified in 2013.
The share of women in parliament seats, the level of women gaining midlevel education and their share in the job market are among the criterions for grading the inequality between men and women in each country. Based on the 2014 humanitarian development report, the share of women in parliament seats in Iran is 3.1%. Also, 62.2 % of Iranian women have above midlevel education. This number in comparison with the 67.6% of men’s education is lower.
This report state that the rate of men above the age of 15 participating in the job market has been estimated at 73.1%, yet this figure for women has been announced at 16.4%. (ILNA state run news agency – July 25, 2014)
Regarding discrimination against women in the field of jobs and wages, a state official made shocking remarks on the status of workers in Iran and the difference between the salaries of women and men workers in factories.
“Legally the status of men and women workers should be equal. However, we are witnessing that in many cases women don’t receive even a third of the minimum wage.”
According to statistics of the past few years, around 300,000 employed women workers were covered by the social security insurance. However, currently their numbers have decreased to 100,000. (State-run ILNA news agency – June 21, 2015)
In July 2015 unemployment amongst women in Iran reached a point that even official Iranian regime media are talking about it. The state-run Asr-e Iran wrote in this regard, “Results from statistics on the country’s workforce shows while unemployment amongst women in Iran has reached 19.2% in 2013, the rate of men taking part in the job market was 63%, showing an increase in the number of men entering the job market in comparison to women.
According to official figures the rate of unemployment amongst women was 16.8% in 2009, and it reached 19.8% in 2013, showing a 3% increase in a period of four years. While the rate of men participation in the job market in 2013 was reported at 63%, these same numbers for women was around 12.4%.
Official statistics show that in four years (2009 – 2013) the number of employed women in Iran dropped 14.2%. (State-run Asr-e Iran daily – July 19, 2015)
The mullahs ruling Iran attempt to impose their reactionary system of gender segregation on the society under the pretext of mandatory hijab, which itself is a warrant to marginalize women.
In December 2013, a member of the Mashhad city council declared a park only for women was opened. Fatemeh Ghayour: “Using bicycles is not permitted for women as a transportation tool. Because of the limitation that women have in their clothing they cannot use it. All the park personnel are also women.” (Fars news agency- 8 December 2013)
Mohsen Kazemini, IRGC commander in Tehran said, “If Sharia law and ideological issues are not taken into consideration regarding the presence of women in the society, the effective role of women will have a negative impact. Why must men and women still sit next to each other in public offices? There is no need for them to sit alongside each other and laugh. Gender separation must be carried out in all organizations and offices.” (State-run ISNA news agency– August 5, 2014)
A concert has been cancelled in Urumieh (north-west Iran) because men and women were to attend on the same day. The regime’s Ministry of Culture told organizers they should have sold the tickets for women on the first day of the event and for the men on the second day.
The latest example of repressive gender segregation comes after Tehran’s Mayor, Mohammad Qalibaf announced a plan last month to separate male and female employees in the workplace, despite the fury of women’s groups, “We should not allow a lady to be in contact or socialize during office hours with strangers for days and months and spend more time with strangers rather than being with her close family members, husband and children. What has happened to our dignity?” Rouhani’s Justice Minister, described this plan as being ‘in conformity with the regime’s values. (NCRI Women’s Committee – August 5, 2014)
Ismaeli, head of Tehran’s judiciary said, “The issue of hijab and modesty that is constantly under attention, must be of more importance in the judiciary. Therefore, the work places of men and women in this judiciary must be separated.”
(State-run ISNA news agency– August 6, 2014)
Mullah Montazeri, head of the Iranian regime’s justice bureau said in a session, “The justice bureau has acted in past years regarding gender separation. It isn’t clear why we are ashamed to advertise Islamic values. If opposition to gender separation isn’t opposition to Islamic decrees, then what is it?” (State-run Mehr News Agency – August 12, 2014)
Mehdi Ghoreishi, Khamenei’s representative in Iran’s West Azerbaijan Province and the Friday prayer leader in Orumieh, said, “The mixing of men and women, under the pretext of equality, is extremely poisonous. Segregation of men and women in concerts is a sharia duty and a reference to God’s orders, and religious scholars have an important role in this regard.” (State-run Asr-e Iran daily – August 15, 2014)
Gender segregation in municipality
In the month of July the controversial gender segregation plan in Tehran’s municipality was imposed, enjoying widespread support amongst regime officials.
Tehran municipality ordered its administrators to only use men employees in their offices and if possible separate men from women in the working environment. “Arrangements have been made for municipality deputies and directors to not hire female secretaries,” said Farzad Khalafi, an official at the Tehran municipality. (Radio Farda – 14 July 2014)
A Tehran municipality official said, “Municipality officials may remain in their office until late at night and also carry out various inspections in projects that may need the presence of office administrators and in this case ladies may be bothered and hurt and their lives might be disrupted!” (State-run ILNA news agency – July 13, 2014)
Tehran Mayor Ghalibaf justified such hideous measures and said, “We have religious zeal, we say, we should not let a woman have contact with a man she does not know more than to socialize with him. Instead, she should spend time with her relatives, husband and children because these interactions have negative influence on the family.” (ISNA state-run news agency – July 18, 2014)
Mohsen Pirhadi, an official of Tehran’s paramilitary Basij organization, referred to gender segregation in the capital’s municipality and said, “Satellite television networks are seeking to weaken the values of this social entity. They must answer why they insist that our women be in so much contact with people outside their families? Which Iranian or Muslim man doesn’t support the separation of the area where his female family member works from that of a stranger? Mixing between men and women where contacts and interactions are open lead to a disruption of lives and increasing divorce. Tehran’s mayor showed religious pride to this issue and has taken a good religious decision.”
(Fars state-run news agency – July 22, 2014)
Abolfazl Ghanaii, member of the development and transportation commission in Tehran’s City Council said, “We are living in a country with an Islamic constitution. Apart from Sharia and the issue of observing it or not, the outcome for work in a single gendered atmosphere is much higher.” (Tasnim state-run news agency – July 27, 2014)
Ali Motahhari MP for the Iranian regime wrote, “This was a very good measure and a necessity under the sacred religion of Islam and it should have been carried out many years ago. … I hope His Excellency is not effected by the heavy attacks staged against this plan and will remain firm”. (State-run Asr-e Iran daily – August 6, 2014)
Iran judiciary chief Sadegh Larijani said, “We shouldn’t be worried about what others think or the fact that at times they may even call us reactionary”. (State-run IRNA news agency – August 6, 2014)
Sedighi, a Tehran prayer leader stated, “Criticism raised against this plan is because this is a revolutionary measure. These measures and any such actions that make the enemies angry, must take place more often because it comes at a heavy price for them.” (State-run IRNA news agency – August 6, 2014)
In an unprecedented measure, Morteza Talaie, deputy president of the Tehran City Council, physically attacked a female journalist in response to questions from journalists on gender segregation. “Are you willing to have 100 men walk pass by you in one room, coming in body contact with you?” he said in response to the woman journalist. “I want to have freedom of choice and no one should impose restrictions on me,” she answered. Talaie then rushed towards the journalist and after she reacted, he asked: “Then why did you pull yourself aside?”
In remarks legitimizing gender segregation in the Tehran municipality, this former state police commander said, “Our religious pride doesn’t allow us have a woman in a room with 100 men and have body contact with her or a young woman having all kinds of men looking at her. You neither accept the sharia or the law, or you accept the feminists who say anything they want.” (From ‘Digarban’ – August 9, 2014)
Following segregation in the work environment in Tehran, men and women have been separated in Ardabil municipality. Sadif Badri, Ardabil’s mayor said, “I clearly announced in the city council that this separation must be carried out in many issues. We believe that gender separation isn’t only justice, yet it has elevated the effectiveness of men and women working in offices and it has created a secure and positive mental state.” (State-run Khabar Online Website– August 11, 2014)
Mullah Ali Asghar Lotfi, a member of Mashhad’s City Council (northeast) said, “Members of the council, in a meeting with the mayor of Mashhad, called for gender separation in Mashhad’s municipality. Mashhad’s city council has suggested that female Basij members be present on public transportations.”
(State-run Reporters Club Website– August 12, 2014)
Gender segregation on campus
From the onset, the mullahs’ regime has attempted to implement gender segregation in universities. This effort has been protested by youths from the very beginning and the war rages on.
According to reports from Najaf Abad University, disciplinary forces have stepped up their supervision on relations between female and male students and imposed more restrictions. They divided the university’s outdoor area into two separate sections for boys and girls. The board in the picture reads, “Dear student, this place is dedicated to the sisters’ rest and study area. Brothers are prohibited to enter.” (NCRI Women’s Committee – May 17, 2014)
Students of Ghazvin’s Azad University staged a rally on 23 September, protesting gender segregation in various areas of this university, including the busses. Sanandaj’s ‘Guidance’ police intended to arrest a number of young men and women in the Mellat Park for mixing together on 24 September. The youth resisted and did not give in to the restrictions. Youth in Tehran clashed with Basij agents who were seen harassing a number of young women on 24 September. Tehran’s ‘Guidance’ police arrested 6 young women in Ferdowsi Avenue on 26 September for wearing manteaus. (NCRI Women’s Committee – September 28, 2014)
“First, they separated the boys from girls in classes, now they are putting up fences in the campus. This will be done in other universities as well,” one student from Dowlat Abad University said. Gender segregation plans in universities has disrupted all educational systems. During this term practically 1,700 students were not able to choose their field of study. (NCRI Women’s Committee – December 4, 2014)
In addition to the protest of gender segregation in the municipality and on campus, the battle is ongoing in all aspects of social life.
The mullahs’ regime has stepped up its repression under the pretext of fighting with mal-veiling and has issued a statement banning women with bad hijab from entering hotels in Isfahan. The official declaration is attached. (NCRI Women’s Committee – July 23, 2014)
A special all-women’s bank has been opened in the city of Rasht. As shown in the picture on the left, men are not allowed in the bank. (NCRI Women’s Committee – July 23, 2014)
Based on reports from the city of Boroujerd, the city municipality has announced that men and women must sit on separate benches in parks and cannot use common benches. (NCRI Women’s Committee – August 4, 2014)
A concert in Urumiyeh, West Azerbaijan, was cancelled after the Department of Culture and Guidance announced that separate concerts at different nights must be held for men and women!
The announcement came after all the tickets were sold. The singer of the concert and all ticket holders cancelled the concert in protest to the gender segregation rules imposed by the Department of Culture and Guidance. (NCRI Women’s Committee – August 10, 2014)
On September 9, two young female doctors were arrested in a mixed-gender party in Sanandaj (Northeast). The officials annulled their medical licenses and graduation certificates for not obeying regime’s gender segregation rules. (NCRI Women’s Commission – September 13, 2014)
A few Tehran hospitals have been imposing gender segregation plans. When women seeking medical exams requiring radiology or treatment in hospitals such as Chamran, they are told the facility lacks any female physicians and medical personnel and they cannot accept any female patients. This is while not long ago, women were accepted by male medical personnel in this very hospital. (NCRI Women’s Committee – September 23, 2014)
A police agent in Tehran’s Towhid Avenue entered a bus on 30 September, ordering men and women to sit separately. This created anger among the youth, forcing him off the bus. (NCRI Women’s Committee – October 2, 2014)
According to new details published from the Iran Education Exams men are hired by the Ministry of Education five times more than women.
Despite the fact that during the past few years the number of women college graduates has increased, their quota in employment across the country has been very insignificant. From the 30 million women in Iran over the age of 10, only three million are employed and over 27 million Iranian women are not present in the workforce. Unemployment amongst men is 8.7%, while amongst women it is reported at 20.3%. (State-run Asr-e Ahwaz– August 9, 2015)
Segregation again women in sports
Iran banned a women’s chess team from Isfahan’s Najaf Abad University from participating in the following round of competitions for what the regime calls improper veiling. This team had won the first round of competitions in the province. The team comprising of 5 members had practiced for months and scheduled to participate in the competitions. However, after several of their pictures had been posted on the university board and magazine, officials prevented their additional participation. (NCRI Women’s Committee –March 10, 2014)
Abdullah Javadi Amoli, a high ranking religious mullah stated in his recent teachings that, “The characteristics of men and women are very different. One of the main differences is that women must become mothers. And becoming a mother requires affection. We think that the highest achievement of women is that they receive medals, yet the highest achievement of women is that she becomes a mother and raises her children.” In response to a question on the “sharia” of broadcasting women’s games on television, mullah Amoli said, “The main principle of such broadcasting on television is incorrect and broadcasting scenes not abiding by sharia rules is not allowed.” (State-run Mashregh News website – October 10, 2014)
A group of Iranian women who had gone to Azadi stadium to watch a volleyball game between Iran and Brazil were kept behind stadium doors. Reportedly, almost 60 Iranian women and girls were prevented from entering the stadium. According to the regulations of the World Volleyball Federation, Iran is obliged to permit woman to watch world games in stadiums. (Zamaneh radio, June14, 2014)
Following Iranian women prevented from entering the 12,000 man Azadi Stadium by Iran’s police on June 20, 2014 female journalists were banned from entering Azadi sports stadium to cover the second volleyball game between Iran and Italy. Only a number of female reporters and administrative game officials such as female secretaries were allowed to be present in the stadium prior to this.
However, according to a report issued by IRNA, female reporters were prohibited from entering Azadi Stadium for the three upcoming Iranian team volleyball matches. Amongst the Friday annotations, a number of women seeking to enter the stadium were arrested by state security forces while some female reporters who had received special permits from the Volleyball Federation to watch and report the match, first entered the stadium yet minutes later, officials of the state security forces directed them out of the stadium. (Radio Farda, June 21, 2014)
Tehran is trying to bar female sports fans from cheering on the national football team and volleyball team in public
The Daily Beast, June 21, 2014 – Last week, dozens of Iranian girls and women stood outside the closed gates of Tehran’s Azadi Stadium. All they wanted was the chance to cheer their volleyball team in its game against Brazil. But, because they are not men, they were banned from attending.
When I tell one of my American friends about this, she looks at me with surprise and says, “you try so hard for such modest demands.” Looking at a photograph of women with faint smiles standing outside the closed gates of the stadium, she adds, “What a sad picture this is!” I confess that her words make me so sad that I can’t bear to tell her that it’s only Iranian women that were barred from the stadium. Brazilian women were able to sit comfortably next to men, cheering on their team.
Fans are experiencing further obstacles to watching the sports they love. Cinema owners had hoped to arrange screenings for this year’s World Cup games. But General Ahmadi Moghadam, commander of Iran’s Security Forces, announced that football matches would not be shown in cinemas to mixed audiences. It would only be tolerated if men and women watched games in separate halls. Cinema owners abandoned their efforts.
Then, a couple of days before the World Cup games started on June 12, authorities announced that football matches could not be shown in restaurants and coffee shops either. The president of the Coffee Shop Owners Union told ISNA news agency that “we have told our members that during the World Cup games they must either turn the TV off or switch to a channel which is not broadcasting the games.” In an interview with Iran Wire, Sara, one of those who had stood in protest outside the closed gates at Azadi Stadium, says “I don’t know exactly how many of us were there. Azadi Stadium has many gates, and there were 30 to 50 women outside each. Some wore chadors and some had manteaux on. Some were in full hejab and some were wearing the required headscarf, but they all had one demand—to enter the stadium to cheer on their favorite national volleyball team.”(The Daily Beast- June21, 2014)
Mahmoud Mashayekh, Noshahr’s Friday prayer leader criticized remarks by some officials and said, “Women’s problems will not be solved by going to stadiums and football fields. Mosques must be equipped with cultural and ideological programs in order to neutralize cultural attacks by Western satellites.” (Asr-e Iran state run website – June 23, 2014)
In response to a question on whether the cultural basis for the presence of women in sports facilities is ready, Iran’s Minister of Justice, Mostafa Pourmohammadi said, “First of all we have values and religious norms and we are sensitive about them. Fortunately the general feeling of the society is completely positive, meaning that the society’s expectation is that we, as a religious system must uphold religious rules and our laws come from those religious rules. Then we have to see how much our Sharia law allows the presence of women!” (State-run ‘Etemad’ daily – June 25, 2014)
Fahimeh Farahmandpour, advisor on women and family affairs to the Iranian regime’s Minister of Interior said for women to go to stadiums there needs to be a presence of cultural fundamentals, moral and physical securities and a way to scrutinize unpredictable events in stadiums! She stressed that if women were to be able to go to stadiums, she and her daughter would not go and added, “The presence of women in stadiums is not amongst any of my top 10 priorities!” (State-run ‘Asr-e Iran’ daily – June 29, 2014)
Simultaneous with the Iran-Poland volleyball game on June 27, 2014, female students in Tehran University intended to watch the match in the university’s amphitheater however university officials’ disapproved. (NCRI Women’s Committee– June 29, 2014)
The International Volleyball Federation (IVF) placed “discussion about Iran’s situation” on its agenda on 18 July.
A report by IVF monitors on Iran regarding the ban of women’s presence in stadiums was read out at that session. While Iran’s national volleyball team’s game with Russia will soon take place, IRNA (state-run) news agency had previously informed of the likelihood of Iran’s national volleyball team being omitted from the eight higher world league teams.
The matter got serious once IVF President Dr. Ary S. Graça, expressed his happiness to Iranian women’s attention and interest in volleyball and said, “This matter will be on the agenda of the upcoming session of the world league council’s meeting where members will discuss it.” (German Radio website – July 17, 2014)
An Iranian state-run newspaper asked Mullah Makarem Shirazi about the Sharia decree regarding the presence of women in sports stadiums as spectators. His response: “The general atmosphere at sports stadiums isn’t suitable for women and there is no doubt that mixing boys and girls will be the source of many moral and social problems. In addition, in many sports, men don’t wear proper clothing. Therefore, it is necessary that women should refrain from participating, especially since these games can be seen in the media. Their presence isn’t necessary.” (Asr-e Iran state-run news agency – July 20, 2014)
Following the FIVB position to revoke the Iranian regime’s right to host the juvenile world games, Iran’s volleyball federation took a step back in declaring women attending sports clubs is not banned. However, On November 26, 2014, some 30 women attempted to watch a volleyball match at a stadium on Hijab Avenue in Tehran, however were prevented from entering the stadium. Protesting the ban on women entering stadiums, the women stood in the street behind the stadiums closed doors throughout the entire match. Authorities asked them to leave, yet they did not give in and stayed until 5 pm.
Sports Ministry officials and the head of the Volleyball Federation had officially announced in state-run television and radio that women would be permitted to enter the stadium.
All this controversy was aimed at banning women from attending sports matches. However, when women become athletes and win medals on the world stage, the remarks made by the religious leaders of this regime are only fit for themselves.
Javadi Amoli, a mullah of the misogynist regime could not tolerate recent victories achieved by Iranian women in the Asian games.
In his meeting with Rouhani’s deputy in women’s affairs, he emphasized women should be forced to stay in their homes. “We must not follow the West in women’s affairs and take part in athletics to get medals. Women receiving medals is not a pride for us. The role of women is to bring peace in our homes,” he said. (NCRI Women’s Committee – December 17, 2014)
Montazer al-Mahdi, spokesman of the State Security Forces in Iran explained that women are still not permitted to enter sports stadiums.
“The Interior Ministry, being the official body in this regard, has yet to issue any statement or orders on this matter. As a result women remain banned from entering sports stadiums,” he said.
The deputy commander of the State Security Forces in social affairs also said, “The municipality has a responsibility to round up homeless women sleeping on the streets, and the police are ready to support and provide back up.” (State-run Tabnak website – June 8, 2015)
After that, the state-run Asr-e Iran news agency gave news of a statement that paved the way for the use of violence against women in an officially announced manner. This source wrote: “We await the bloody presence of hezbollah forces in the 12,000-man Azadi Stadium on 19 June 2015”. This is the opening sentence of a statement that has been widely distributed in Tehran, especially its south and central areas. The writers of this statement announced that their intension was to confront and prevent the presence of women in the stadium. (State-run Asr-e – June 8, 2015)
Iran’s police chief says his forces have acted based on their natural duty in banning the entrance of women into sports stadiums or cancelling various music concerts.
He said: “If we prevent the presence of women in concerts and sports stadiums, we are acting based on our natural and sharia duty.” (State-run Entekhab website – June 13, 2015)
Then Rouhani entered the scene and approved the State Security Force’s stance on the presence of women in stadiums. State-run news agencies wrote that Hassan Rouhani in a press conference on Saturday responded to concerns raised by senior religious figures on his cabinet’s cultural programs and also the presence of women in sports stadiums.
“On the police I should say that the government has no specific interpretation of the police. The government believes the law is the index for all,” he said.
Rouhani then referred to Khomeini’s remarks and said, “[Khomeini] ordered the law passed by the Guardian Council must be implemented. (State-run Mehr news agency – June 13, 2015)
After Rouhani, the interior minister stressed that we don’t have any new instructions on women entering sports stadiums and we will act based on the previous laws. (State-run ISNA news agency – June 16 & 17, 2015)
On 19 June news came out that Islamic Republic intelligence and security forces prevented women and girls from attending an international volleyball match between the USA and Iran. This match was held under extremely tight security conditions and all women, including female reporters were banned. (NCRI Women’s Committee – June 19, 2015)
Segregation against women in music
Music is another area where the mullahs intensified their reactionary hysteria against women.
Women performing music is considered as an unforgivable sin by the mullahs.
Referring to a mixed gendered concert with a female singer in the city of Qazvin (northwestern Iran), Behrouz Naeemi, member of the Parliament’s Mine and Industry Committee demanded explanation by Ali Jannati, the Parliament’s Culture and Guidance Minister. He added, “Some events in the areas of cinema and music can cause confusion.” It seems to the Member of Parliament’s criticism refers to the performance of ‘Hamnavazane Hessar’s’ group in Qazvin (northwestern Iran). (Radio Zamaneh- Apr. 12, 2014)
Mohammad Qotbi, the head of Isfahan Culture and Guidance Department has compared musical groups with the national football team. He believes that just as there are substitute players in football, musical groups should also have substitutes for their female musicians.
On the night of May 27, the “Eshtiagh” music group went on stage in Isfahan’s “Kosar” hall. The concert which was simultaneous with Isfahan’s Music Festival started with a 50 minute delay because agents of Isfahan’s Ministry of Culture and Guidance refused to allow the women to go on stage.
“Women are not allowed to go on stage”, Qotbi said.
After six years, everyone was expecting the Women’s Music Festival to be held in the Vahdat Hall. However, the program was cancelled on June 14 and music fans were left behind closed doors. Officials from the Ministry of Culture and Guidance say that the program was not a festival from the beginning and not enough tickets were sold. They promised to hold the festival after the month of Ramadhan yet female artists say they were not provided the opportunity to advertise the event in the first place and even so, people welcomed it. It has been six years that the Women’s Music Festival has not been held in Iran.
Based on current laws, female artists are only allowed to perform in the Vahdat Hall’s stage between 1:00 to 3:00 PM. This is the worst hour of the day. (Zamaneh Radio, June 16, 2014)
Iranian songwriter and musician Hossein Alizadeh said: “In the past, ladies were not allowed to perform on stage only in a few cities. Now in almost every city measures are taken to force women musicians out of bands…This will lead to total elimination of women from music. All members of a group live with music and make a living out of it. In such harsh economic conditions, it will hurt musicians to force them to stay at home.” (Radio Zamane – August 29, 2014)
The Iranian regime’s authorities have cancelled at least two concerts in a week in Iran for having women musicians in the group. A number of women musicians were not allowed to appear on stage beside the men in an official sponsored festival in Isfahan.
The women musicians were forced to sit down and watch as only men played and the group was promised that they would be allowed to hold the concert later. However, in the other location women were again prevented from going on stage and the concert was cancelled.
Another group of musicians were not allowed to perform in the city of Mashhad on October 9-10 as planned despite having received official permission.
Last December in a letter to Ali Jannati, Minister of Guidance (responsible for press and arts censorship), a group of Iranian musicians called for an end to the repression against musicians in Iran. The letter said: “The music community has witnessed an upsurge in security measures. The recent arrests are only the tip of the iceberg. While in his campaign Hassan Rouhani promised change and open society, the requirement of a license to produce music should no longer be necessary. Moreover, it was hoped that women, who represent the half of society can actively return to the world of music. Unfortunately, not only there was no change, but it proved that music fans have found themselves in prison. Young people who had been engaged with their own resources and energies to promote music, have been imprisoned for two months instead of being encouraged.” (NCRI Women’s Committee – October 16, 2014)
Mashhad city’s Friday prayer leader said, “Female solo singers and musical education serve the interest of the enemies of Islam and the regime. The government must be aware that such developments are not in the establishment’s interest. Unfortunately, we see female soloists across the nation and this issue is hurting those supporting the supreme leader.” (State-run ISNA news agency – October 17, 2014)
Taghavi Hosseini, a member of the Iranian regime’s parliament, criticized women singing and playing solo music in various concerts. “For the president’s information, there is a letter signed by a number of parliament members and we have raised our protests on a number of subjects in this regard. If relevant officials do not show necessary attention to the concerns raised by members of Parliament, the Parliament will use its authority and legal limits to resolve this issue,” he threatened. (State-run Asr-e Iran daily – November 1, 2014)
An Iranian musician has been banned from travelling abroad because the group includes women.
Regime border police confiscated Majid Derakhshani’s passport at Tehran airport, and he now faces prosecution for the ‘offence’. Derakhshani said Iranian security officials had regularly summoned members of his group for questioning because it includes women musicians. His group’s first concert in Europe took place in October 2013 with the participation of two women singers. Regime agents had now told him his prosecution would now be reviewed by a court, he said. (NCRI – January 6, 2015)
A female singer has been banned from performing with her group at a concert in Tehran. Iranian authorities said the show would only be allowed to go ahead if Azerbaijani singer Fargana Qasimov watched her band perform from the sidelines.
The organizers of the January 13, 2015 concert at Tehran’s Vahdat amphitheater had called for the ruling to be overturned, forcing spectators to wait for hours in the street before the concert began. Once the show started, the conductor told the audience, “Nowhere else in the world are women artists treated in this way.”
Asked if she had faced similar humiliation at any other concerts, Mrs Qasimov replied, “Not at all, this is the first time that I have faced this situation. I am not feeling good about it but I have to support my father when he performs.” Iranian officials also banned photographers in the concert and have not allowed any pictures of the show to appear in the media. (NCRI Women’s Committee – January 14, 2015)
Following the Iranian regime’s ban on the participation of female singers and musicians in concerts around the country, a female musician by the name of Negar Kharkan writes, “I’m a musician. Music is my job. I’m 31-years-old and have been involved in music for 20 years. Why do you show your disapproval but just shacking your head when I’m eliminated? If you keep silent like this, you will perish. We will both perish.” (NCRI Women’s Committee – January 19, 2015)
Summoning to court is another government pretext used to impose further limitations on women in their cultural activities. The state-run Farhang Negar website wrote in this regard, “Majid Derakhshani and members of the ‘Mah Banu’ music group have been summoned to court on June 15 for solo songs performed women singers, holding concerts in London praising women singers prior to the 1979 revolution and conducting interviews against the Islamic republic system with foreign medias. Sahar Mohammadi, the female solo singer of this group will be tried for the crime of conducting solo songs and posting it on the Internet.” (State-run Farhang Negar website – June 7, 2015)
A few days after that, the Jamejamonline, a state-run website reported the ‘Kamkar’ music group did not receive a permit to perform a concert in
Iran. This report reads in part: “During the past few days Reza Yazdani was scheduled to perform a concert in badan (southwest Iran). However, this program was cancelled for unknown reasons. Now, the authorities have not issued a permit for the ‘Kamkar’ music group in Isfahan to stage a concert. “This group, consisting of male and female artists was to perform a concert on July 31 in Isfahan.” (Jamejamonline website – July 22, 2015)
Despite the scope of suppression against women and all the restrictions imposed against them, courageous Iranian women are and have always been in the frontline of every protest against the Iranian regime.
Resistance to mandatory hijab and gender segregation
It is compulsory for female students of Yazd Azad University to wear the chador (long black veil which covers them from head to toe). Female student protested the regulation on February 24, 2014, demanding it to be cancelled. University disciplinary forces intervened and forcibly dispersed them.
A group of female and male barbers in the city of Dehloran gathered outside the intelligence bureau on March 10, 2014 for having their shops sealed. Last week the facility inspectors closed down their shops for advertising western styled haircuts. Security forces then threatened the protesters from continuing their protest.
Female repressive agents attempted to arrest a group of girls who were laughing and kidding around as they were leaving Tehran’s Tajrish Bazaar on July 25, 2014. The agents tried to force them into the patrol unit’s cars, harassing and humiliating them. The young girls did not pay attention to the orders and asked to be explained what their crime was. The young girls clashed with the female patrol officers and bystanders joined to defend them. Other repressive forces joined the scene and arrested the girls.
On August 1, 2014 a number of female cyclists training and exercising in Tehran’s Chitgar area were stopped by the police and detained by the so-called ‘Guidance’ patrol units. The women protested the measures and asked why they didn’t have the right to exercise and that Chitgar has the only bicycle training course in Tehran. Where are they to exercise?
On August 4, 2014, the youth in Tehran’s Sadeghiya region clashed with repressive ‘Guidance’ police patrols. The scuffle began when agents arrested a young girl. The youth blocked the patrol vehicle and beat two of the agents, releasing the girl who fled the area. As the clashes continued the repressive forces used electric shockers on the head of a young man and knocked him unconscious. Three youth were arrested. (NCRI Women’s Committee – August 5, 2014)
On the afternoon of August 13, 2014, Guidance police agents near Tehran’s Goldis Tower began arresting a number of girls. A mother prevented the police forces from detaining her daughter. This mother’s actions were supported and praised by bystanders.
In the afternoon of August 13, 2014, after placing a police booth in downtown Khoramabad, a number of female Basij paramilitary members began insulting some women for their clothing. The bystander women began protesting and clashed with the Basij members. The repressive police identified and pulled a number of the protesters inside the booth to threaten to arrest them.
On August 17, 2014, a number of female ‘Guidance’ patrol agents intended to disturb women clothing boutique owners on the bogus mullah-fabricated charge of mal-veiling. The issue raised intense anger amongst women retailers and they decided to stand firm on their position, leading to clashes with the ‘Guidance’ police.
‘Guidance’ patrol agents in Tehran stationed outside a metro terminal on August 27, 2014, arrested 13 girls and took them away. One of the agents began beating a 25-year-old young woman, raising extreme protests from bystanders, especially women.
On September 9, 2014, Guidance patrol agents outside a metro station in Tehran arrested two girls. Some 10 middle-aged women wearing veils held their chadors in their hands and stood in front of the police van and said, “Everyone has a right to choose!” The protest forced the agents to stop their harassments and leave the scene. (NCRI Women’s Commission – September 14, 2014)
Female ‘Guidance’ patrols began questioning and insulting a young woman who wasn’t wearing a chador in the city of Karaj on September 12, 2014. In response, the young woman entered a scuffle with one of the agents. Finally two plainclothes agents joined the scene and took the girl away by force.
An agent of the Iranian regime harassed a young woman because of her hijab and was going to arrest her in Tehran’s Laleh Avenue on October 5, 2014. The brave young woman resisted and attracted the attention of youth at the scene as they rushed to her support, forcing the agent to flee.
Female agents of the Iranian regime’s Guidance patrol in Tehran’s metro station insulted Ms. Azar Tajik on November 4, 2014 and criticized the length of her manteaux saying it was too short and also asked for her ID. She responded by refusing to give her identification card and stated that her manteaux is not short. The agents intended to arrest the brave woman but she began defending herself and clashed with them. The agents released other individuals arrested for improper veiling and forced Ms. Tajik into a vehicle, transferring her to the Public Prosecutor’s office.
An agent of the suppressive Basij force was beaten after harassing a female student, in Tehran on November 6, 2014. The brave young woman’s resistance was supported and encouraged by bystanders at the scene.
On December 12, 2014, two young women were harassed in a public park in Tehran by two Basij members for their clothing. The two women defended themselves and fended off the Basij members. Their brave act attracted the attention of bystanders who rushed to their aid in solidarity and saved them from arrest.
A number of female students of Shariati Technical College staged a gathering on May 10, 2014, in protest to the changing of their university’s name to ‘Scientific and Applicatory College’ and the devaluation of their licenses and degrees. The authorities tried to stop the gathering and finally promised the students to assess their problems. The girls stressed that if the problem is not solved, they will resume the rally.
Female students at Babol’s Nushirvani University held a gathering on October 8, 2014, outside the Student and Culture Department. The rally was held to protest the insulting behavior of university officials and security personnel, the lack of care and maintenance provided for the campus and also the lack of repair of the dormitory’s heating system. At the end of the rally three students participated in a meeting held in the student administrator’s room emphasizing they will hold another protest gathering if their demands are not met.
December 7 is the national day of university students in Iran and is considered as a symbol of students’ struggle. The day was marked with protests and gatherings as students bravely protested against the oppressive actions of the Iranian regime, including the violation of women’s rights.
In Babol University a student gave a speech about human rights and the students’ support for women’s rights. He condemned the regime’s gender segregation policies.
Female students in Islamshahr Azad University rallied in the cafeteria and protested the expulsion of a student because of improper hijab. Students in Tehran’s Science and Research University chanted, “Universities must be free”, demanding an end to oppressive and gender segregation measures.
Quds City Azad University witnessed clashes between students and campus security. The scuffles erupted when students raised placards written, “Name the acid attack suspects” and “Death to acid attackers”.
In 2015 student rallies continued. On July 27th around 150 medical school girls rallied and protested a bill passed by Hassan Rouhani’s Healthy Ministry. This rally was held outside this ministry building and the protesters said women graduating from medical school are committed to 8 years of service while men are only committed to two years.
The state-run Tabnak website reported these college students have been protesting this issue for 2½ years and their voices have been silenced throughout Rouhani’s tenure.
In another event physicians and medical college students in a Tehran hospital, most of them young women, staged a rally protesting the murder of Dr. Pirzadeh in Ardebil.
They described this murder as utterly cruel and held the Revolutionary Guards responsible. The female college students emphasized this murder case must be quickly investigated and itsperpetrators identified immediately.
Asghar Pirzadeh, a renowned medical specialist in blood and cancer, was killed in a house on Thursday, July 23. He had long issued warnings about the IRGC extracting uranium and contaminating water in the Sabalan area, describing it as radioactive.
Reports from Iran’s Fars Province indicate that on July 26 security agents attacked a female doctor and severely beat her. This surgeon, Mrs. Razmjouie, was visiting a patient when security agents pressured her to finish her checkup faster. The surgeon refused to give in to their demands. In response the agents arrested her and transferred her to the public prosecutor’s office with her hands cuffed where she was severely beaten. People at the scene protest these harsh measures and stage a protest gathering outside the governor’s office. It has also been reported that physicians and hospital staff went on strike protesting this vicious arrest and beating.
Following a protest rally held by the physicians society in the cities of Shiraz, Ardebil, Yasuj and Nour Abad Mamseni, physicians and nurses, along with other medical staff members in Karaj, Kermanshah, Maku, Yazd and Kazeroon began staging similar rallies.
On Wednesday, July 29 nurses of Bahonar Hospital in Karaj went on strike in the Azamiye district. The protesters expressed their support of Dr. Rasmjouie who was severely beaten by security agents in Nour Abad Mamseni.
Female college students in Shiraz Medical University staged a pre-planned rally on Tuesday, August 4 protesting exams being held for paramedic jobs. The students in this university criticized the mullahs’ regime due to high unemployment rates amongst graduate nurses. (NCRI Women’s Committee – August 6, 2015)
Female college students in Iran’s Economy University rallied on Sunday, August 9 protesting dire campus conditions. The students, totaling over 100 in this protest rally, demanded the education commission to get to work and resolve these problems before the start of the new school year.
A group of Imam Reza Hospital nurses in Tabriz staged yet another protest rally.
On the first day nurses from the Children Hospital, on the second day nurses of the Martyrs and Civil Hospital, on the third day nurses of the Razi and Imam Reza hospitals in Tabriz, on the fourth day nurses of the Razi and Martyrs Hospital, and today once again nurses of the Imam Reza Hospital staged a rally.
The nurses are protesting the regime’s refusal to implement the law of price listing nurses’ services.
“The ministry and representative office that propose this law are currently fleeing from the implementation of this bill. The representatives must have supervision following the ratification of the bill because not living up to their duties is considered a violation,” they said.
One of the nurses represented the others and referred to the increasing price listing announced by officials, the nurses have been forgotten in this new plan! (State-run Fars news agency – June 28, 2015)
On 29 June, nurses in the cities of Tehran, Tabriz, Yazd and Chalous, staged gatherings in protest to low wages and poor living conditions.
On this day the city of Tabriz witnessed the gathering of many nurses. They gathered at various hospitals in this city, including the Razi, Madani, Sina and Shohada hospitals.
On June 31st Tehran once again witnessed the nurses’ protest gathering outside the medical science university. Physicians, hospital staff, laboratory staff and hospital nurses in Hamadan gathered in protest to the implementation of the ‘Qasedak’ plan in the health ministry. They chanted: “enough talking, act!”
On June 30th, hundreds of nurses in Tehran took to the streets to shout their protest to poor work and living conditions.
On 12 July the female nurses’ protest continued in Tehran. A group of over 70 nurses gathered outside the ministry of health building. Also in Hamedan, over 150 nurses gathered outside the medical science university building for the third time. In Behbahan, the nurses of the Mostafa Khomeini Hospital staged their gathering. They were protesting to the ministry of health’s actions.
Dozens of women protested in Alborz Province in northern Iran. The women held a rally outside the governorate in the town of Hashtgerd on July 13. They said the water and sewage conditions in their homes were unacceptable and there is no follow-up by the regime.
Mashhad – The medical staff of the special eye hospital in this city refused to show up for work. “We have expressed our problems many times. Our salaries are lower than the poverty line,” one of the staff said.
On July 15 over 200 nurses in Shiraz went on strike. They were seen chanting and demanding justice. On July 14 a group of nurses and medical staff of in Rajaie Shahr Hospital in the city of Tankabon staged a rally and protested poor living conditions and injustice.
Tuesday, July 21, protesting not receiving their paychecks. These nurses also rallied against policies practiced by the Health Ministry in violation of their rights. On this very day nurses in Tehran’s Najmiye Hospital went on strike and continued for a few hours. Eyewitness reports indicate dozens of nurses took part in this strike. They, too, were protesting various plans proposed by Rouhani’s Health Ministry and the lack of any equality in receiving their paychecks.
On the morning of Saturday, July 25 a group of nurses of Tehran’s Ruzbeh Hospital went on strike. These nurses numbered 100 in total. They rallied in the hospital’s courtyard and made their strike and protests very public. In the city of Yasuj (south Iran) nurses were seen continuing their protests. “We are a number of nurses who passed our exams last year. However, five months later we have yet to receive any of our paychecks or premiums,” a nurse said.
Nurses in Razi Hospital of Tabriz (northwest Iran) staged a rally on Monday, August 3rd protesting Rouhani’s Health Ministry plan that aims to provide paycheck to the nurses based on their conduct, whereas currently all the expenses are pocketed by those affiliated to the government. According to this picture the nurses are protesting using slogans such as “Protest” and “No to Discrimination”.
Nurses holding protest rallies against a plan presented by Hassan Rouhani’s Health Ministry expanded across Iran.
Nurses of the Imam Ali Hospital in Lorestan, Ordibehesht Hospital in Shiraz, Khatam al-Anbia’ Hospital in Salmas, the so-called Khomeini Hospital in Mahabad, Hashemi-nezhad and Resalat hospitals in Tehran, Rajaie Hospital in Shiraz, Massoud Hospital in Gorgan, Bahonar Hospital in Karaj, and nurses and medical staff of Bukan Hospital protested the measures taken by the Health Ministry. The protesting nurses and medical staff have one major demand: It is a nurse’s right to receive wages based on hours of work!
On Wednesday, August 5 a number of Hamedan Medical Sciences University held a rally.
In Tabriz, nurses from two branches of Razi Hospital rallied and protested the Health Ministry plan. This is their third such rally held in the past month.
Gorgan in northern Iran also witnessed such protest gatherings. Nurses of 5th Azar Hospital held a rally and expressed their outrage regarding the Health Ministry plan.
A group of nurses in the Ebn Sina Psychiatric Hospital of Mashhad, northeast of Iran, held a rally on Saturday, August 8 protesting a recent Health Ministry plan.
On this very day nurses and medical staff of Dr. Mohammad Kermanshahi Hospital in the city of Kermanshah also rallied and protested unequal pay for nurses.
Nurses of Ghaem Hospital in Karaj staged a rally at 9 am on Sunday, August 9 protesting recent plans presented by Hassan Rouhani’s Health Ministry. On this very day in the city of Rafsanjan, central Iran, nurses and personnel of Ali ibn Abi-Taleb Hospital held a rally in the hospital courtyard. Like their colleagues they had demanded the Health Ministry plan to be revoked.
Nurses and the medical staff of Ali ibn Abitaleb Hospital in the city of Rafsanjan in central Iran staged a rally on August 7. They are protesting the problems the medical staff is facing, and emphasizing they will continue their protests until their issues are resolved.
Nurses of the Mafi Nezam Hospital in Shush (southwestern Iran) are continuing their strikes and protests regarding not receiving their wages. Their protests began on August 17 and officials promised the nurses after their first day of protest to see to their demands. However, to this day there have been no practical measures taken by the Iranian regime. In response, the medical staff of this hospital declared they will continue their strike and protests until their demands are met.
Tehran witnessed a major rally and demonstration staged by teachers from across the country on Wednesday, July 22. They gathered outside the regime’s so-called parliament and protested violations of their rights and freedoms under Rouhani’s tenure.The teachers were heard crying: “Don’t be afraid, we are all together” “Imprisoned teachers must be freed” “Hungry until when?”“We are all equal”
In response security forces attacked the protesting teachers and according to some reports around 200 teachers were detained at police stations in Tehran’s Abbas Abad district and Vozara Avenue. A number of the teachers were seen being beaten while arrested by the security agents.
Before that on May 21th a group of teachers in Alborz Province (northern Iran) staged a rally, raising posters and placards demanding the release of jailed teacher Rasoul Baddaghi, and the release of other imprisoned colleagues who were arrested for protesting their violated rights.
Nearly 200 kindergarten teachers rallied Sunday night, August 9, and continued their sit-in outside the Iranian regime’s so-called parliament in Tehran until Monday morning. Some were even seen having their children with them and continued their protests well into Monday against Hassan Rouhani’s Education Ministry and its regulations on employing teachers.
These teachers are protesting poor job conditions and the mullahs’ regime refusing to provide even a minimum of their demands.
Kindergarten teachers who had gathered outside the Parliament in Tehran to protest the violation of their rights stressed that they will return next Sunday if their demands are not met. Reports show that the 9 August gathering of teachers outside the Parliament building reached up to 2000 teachers. These teachers had come to Tehran from all across Iran.
On February 24, 2014, a group of single-mothers gathered in front of Khorram Abad’s welfare Bureau to demand their ‘basket of goods’ yet authorities told them there was no ‘basket of goods’ for them. Consequently, some women protested, demanding their rights.
Disciplinary forces intervened and dispersed them while threatening and harassing them.
A number of Gonabadi women (in Khorasan Razavi Province, northeast Iran) staged a gathering in front of the governor’s office in protest to the death of the second pregnant woman in less than a week and asked for the situation to be dealt with. Criticizing the city’s medical condition, Fathnia, the departed woman’s sister said, “Why does this city only have three women’s specialists while it has a population of over 100,000?” Her mother said that during the nine months of her second pregnancy, her daughter had been under the specialist’s control and had no problem, and “why does someone have to die for giving birth while medicine and technology has improved? In just a week, a pregnant mother died in Bejestan before giving birth and another 32-year-old mother died while giving birth in Gonabad Hospital.” (Asre Iran state-run website- Mar. 13, 2014)
Kurdish women have staged a gathering outside a local government office to protest the lack of drinking water in the 100-home village of ‘Naysaneh’ near the city of Pave in western Iran. The protest rally, which was held last week, was neglected by Iranian regime officials.
The protesting women held water buckets while protesting in front of government officials. “22 years after the so-called renovation of this area and the return of residents to this village, citizens are deprived of access to daily drinking water. We only have drinking water for 1 hour in every 72 hours which comes from a spring and reaches the homes through pipes,” said a protesting woman.
The mullahs’ regime has in numerous cases destroyed the makeshift homes of extremely poor people that have gone to great limits to have a roof over their heads, under the pretext of construction. Many of these measures have led to the murder of members of these deprived families. On November 18, 2014 residents in an area in Ahwaz were given 20 minutes to evacuate their houses before being demolished. A brave woman has stood against this cruelty, as shown in the picture.
Dozens of women protested in Alborz Province in northern Iran. The women held a rally outside the governorate in the town of Hashtgerd on July 13. They said the water and sewage conditions in their homes were unacceptable and there is no follow-up by the regime.
During the past few months a large number of women have lost their government jobs after maternity leave. On Tuesday, August 4 a group of these women rallied outside the regime’s so-called parliament in Tehran protesting their expulsion from work and describing such action by the regime as illegal. (NCRI Women’s Committee – August 6, 2015
Supporting martyrs and prisoners
Mother of the slain blogger, Sattar Beheshti; Masoumeh Dehqan the spouse of jailed lawyer, Abdolfatah Sultani and Narges Mohammadi, a political activist joined the Dervishes gathering in front of Tehran’s Prosecutor’s Office.
The families of political and Dervish prisoners have called for this gathering since last week in order to follow up on the demands of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.
(Majzoobane Noor- March 8, 2014)
Maryam Shirini, spouse of jailed lawyer of Gonabadi Dervishes, Amir Islami, suffered from convulsions and passed out due to a hunger strike carried out in her home to support her husbands’ rights.
Maryam was amongst the Dervish families’ gathering in front of Tehran’s Prosecutor’s Office when she fainted following four days of hunger strike and was transferred to a medical center.
Mr. Islami who is confined in Evin Prison, was on hunger strike along with 9 other Dervishes. (Majzoobane Noor- March 8, 2014)
On June 28, 2014, a mother cried and shouted outside Isfahan’s judiciary attracting everyone’s attention in the area. The mother was protesting the court order issued for her child who was arrested for providing bread to feed their family. Earlier, the 16-year-old youth stole a few loafs of bread to end his starvation in Najaf Abad near Isfahan. Despite the fact that there is enough evidence showing the young man was living under complete poverty, the judge issued a five year prison sentence for him.
Women in Iranshahr, rallied outside the regime’s judiciary on August 14, 2014 demanding the cancellation of the inhumane verdict to kill a woman (Zohreh Baranzehi) by stoning. According to reports received from inside Iran two hideous stoning rulings have been already carried out in Iranshahr in the past month alone.
On August 26, 2014, the elderly mother of a prisoner protested outside Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj after authorities did not allow her to visit her son. Authorities attacked the elderly mother while she was chanting slogans against the regime.
A participant in a memorial for the 30,000 victims of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran writes, “On Friday, August 29th, we were able to gather at a memorial for the 30,000 political prisoners massacred in 1988, at the mass grave of Khavaran. This success, although small and very painful, was also very sweet, because it was the result of resistance and perseverance of mothers and families of the massacred.
We are living under the shadow of a government that uses no other means than force, threats and cruelty against our people and in such conditions, obtaining minimum rights is very difficult. We never lost hope. We stood against them and resisted. Although they harassed, insulted and threatened us but we were always in Khavaran throughout the year. This is our minimum right and our resistance showed that if we want, we can obtain many things.”
85 women rights activists in Iran’s Kurdistan supported the hunger strike by the political prisoners in Orumieh. Their statement reads in part, “We are a group of women activists expressing our support for the hunger strike of political prisoners in Orumieh prison. We are calling for all their requests to be acknowledged and for them to enjoy their undeniable rights. Seeking freedom has never been a crime, under which these freedom-loving Kurds have now been jailed for.” 28 political prisoners in Orumieh prison were on hunger strike for 24 days to protest the closing of the political prisoners’ ward and being held in the wards of criminals and dangerous inmates.
Saeed Zeinali was arrested during the July 1999 students uprising and went missing afterwards. Saeed’s mother, Akram Neqabi, has been searching for her son for the past 15 years. She has not been given any answers about her son’s whereabouts. Mrs. Neqabi said that after more than 15 years, she was recently informed that her son and two other students have died in a Tehran hospital after being brutally tortured and were buried in a secret location by the Revolutionary Guards agents.
Gohar Eshqi, the mother of murdered blogger, Sattar Beheshti, posted a picture of herself joining the campaign saying “Stop Violence against Women” marking International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
The mother of 2009 uprising martyr, Mostafa Karim Beigi placed her picture on Facebook with the following message:
No to Execution
No to Discrimination
No to Dictatorship
Following the transfer of political prisoner Mrs. Hakimeh Shokri to Qarchak prison, the “Mothers of Laleh Park” (Mourning Mothers) said in a letter addressed to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, “Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, we wrote to inform you that Mrs. Hakimeh Shokri was arrested in 2012 only for showing sympathy to mothers of murdered or disappeared people in Iran. She has tolerated harsh conditions in prison despite suffering many illnesses. According to the regime’s own Islamic Penal Code, she must be released now. However, she is not only still in custody, but has illegally been transferred to Qarchak prison and placed among criminals. Expressing our concern about all prisoners in Iran, we are deeply worried about Shokri’s conditions.”
Family members of a young woman sentenced to death rallied outside the courthouse in Karaj’s Fardis area on the morning of 19 January, protesting the death sentence issued for their daughter. Repressive state forces intervened by insulting and intending to disperse family members. This resulted in creating even more anger amongst protesters, leading to a scuffle. Security forces finally arrested the mother and brother of the woman on death row.
On June 2nd a group of lawyers, civil activists and human rights advocates participated in a sit-in staged outside the Tehran Bar Association and demanded the release of Atena Faraghdani. According to eyewitnesses a group of families of political prisoners also took part in this gathering to protest rulings issued against their loved ones. Atena Daemi’s family and Omid Ali Shenas were also at the scene with pictures and slogans, demanding the release of their jailed loved ones.
News from northern Iran show that a number of workers’ wives staged a gathering outside the city council in protest to not receiving wages on time and decrease of overtime work hours.
The protesting workers were looking to enter the city council meeting and reach their protest to the city council and mayor of Anzali. However, the city council staff prevented their entrance. Therefore they carried out their protest outside the city council building. It was held on July 10th.
On July 21st a group of women, relatives of prisoners on death row, rallied outside the regime’s so-called parliament demanding the death sentences issued for their loved ones to be stopped.
“We the women of Sanandaj do not welcome Rouhani.”This was the main slogan heard from women on 26 July in Sanandaj (western Iran), protesting a visit by Hassan Rouhani. They held placards reading, “Where is my home?” demanding the unresolved housing problem be finally attended to.
On August 26, 2014, Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotudeh appeared in a lawyers’ court delivering her statement.
The statement read in part, “I (Nasrin Sotudeh) have been accused by the prosecutor and his representative, and also the Ministry of Intelligence, of carrying out measures against the country through my profession as a lawyer.
Unfair court hearings, family punishments and finally giving parole only as they wish, are all blatant signs being imposed to those unfairly accused…I insist that my family has been under pressure because of my profession in defending victims of human rights violations …
Three of my five lawyers are now under prosecution. My dear colleague Mr. Abdulfattah Sultani, my lawyer in the harshest of times, is now in jail…after the elections a large number of independent lawyers were placed under prosecution, and even many of them are now in jail…
In Iranian courts, the accused have basically no rights at all… during the past 35 years all political charges have been reviewed in special courts (revolution courts) without the presence of a jury and behind closed doors, and all religious minors, civil and political activists have been deprived of their rights.
I have pursued my path during the past 10 years so correctly that if I return to 10 years I would do exactly what I have done so far. I believe all my clients have been innocent… As long as unjustified court hearings are held in Iran I will continue my efforts in this regard.”
Mrs. Nasrin Sotudeh delivered a speech in mid-November, saying, “On no condition should a judicial system raise new charges against an inmate who is serving time … this happened in the 1980s; however, it is 2014 and we will never allow a state to carry out such measures without paying a price. The government is very much mistaken if it thinks it can rule by increasing the number of executions. For political, conscience and civil allegations, we are witnessing double and triple-digit prison terms. What is going on”?!
On 18 October, the second district of the lawyers’ court at the request of the Evin prosecutor banned Nasrin Sotudeh from advocacy. The head of this court, Majed Vosughi, had previously told Nasrin Sotudeh that it’s better for you to hand over your certificate and pull back from advocacy for now, because we are under pressure.
The issuance of such a verdict for lawyers who have been or are still political prisoners isn’t unprecedented. She had acknowledged this verdict as a preparation for the banning of many other lawyers who advocate political prisoner.
Nasrin Sotudeh, after the court verdict of a 10-year ban from advocacy and in protest to the illegal due process of other lawyers, staged a long sit-in outside the Lawyers’ Bar, which continues to this day. On a daily basis several activists take part in this sit-in to support her.
The Iranian regime’s security forces called on protesters rallying outside the Bar Association in 1 February, to leave the area. Ms. Sotudeh said, “I am responsible for this protest. Have nothing to do with my friends. We are here because lawlessness has been replaced by the law. Do whatever you’ve been ordered to do. We are not afraid of you nor your superiors.” The protesters said that they would continue to rally, even if the price is to be killed. Agents were forced to back off.
Nasrin Sotudeh, lawyer and human rights activist, intended to continue her protests on December 10th marking international Human Rights Day outside the Bar Association but was arrested and detained for a few hours.
“While I was going to my place of protest with my husband we were stopped and both of us were arrested without any warrants, and they took us to an intelligence office,” she said in an interview with Radio France International.
“The interrogations mainly focused on today’s protest marking International Human Rights Day, to which the interrogators were protesting, while this is the legal right of all citizens. Today we had arrangements with a number of social activists and members of a campaign aiming to step-by-step end executions.”
Nasrin Sotudeh, a lawyer and human rights activist who has been summoned to the 2nd branch of the Evin prosecutor’s office said, “I have been threatened many times from the beginning of my sit-in outside the Iran Bar association.
Even once a motorcyclist came and threatened to execute me. During the months of my protest, on three occasions Ministry of Intelligence agents arrested me along with my husband.
Those days I received a phone call from an individual introducing himself as an intelligence agent asking me to refrain from giving interviews with foreign media.”
Mrs. Sotudeh went on to say, “During the past two months I have continuously received threatening text messages, in which the sender mentioned unspecific demands and said if these demands are not met it will lead to acid attacks against me, my limbs being torn apart and death.
These were the problems that I faced during this period.” (International Campaign in Defense of Human Rights – August 22, 2015)
Two faces with one story
Under Rouhani’s tenure two names and two faces highlight the innocence of Iranian women. Women whose only ‘crime’ was self-defense against rape by Ministry of Intelligence agents, and they lost their lives for this very reason: “Farinaz Khosravani’ and “Reyhaneh Jabbari”.
On May 4 the city of Mahabad in western Iran witnessed a shocking scene. A 26-year old woman by the name of Farinaz Khosravani was attacked by an intelligence agent who intended to rape her, and her only refuge was to throw herself off a four-story hotel where she worked in. She lost her life instantly.
Following this atrocious incident, the youth in Mahabadi rushed to the streets condemning the crime committed by the intelligence agent. They were seen bravely clashing with the regime’s anti-riot guards in various parts of the city. Angry protesters also set ablaze the ground floor of Hotel Tara, being the site of the crime.
During these protests a number of people were arrested while dozens of others were left injured. In one case an individual lost both of his eyes to his eyes. Despite all this, demonstrations and protests staged by Kurdish women against this crime continued endlessly. Women in the city of Sanandaj, western Iran, chanted “Mahabad is not alone, Sanandaj supports it” and “Woman, life, freedom” backing the popular demonstrations protesting this crime.
Demonstrations and popular protests continued even seven days after Farinaz’s death. On May 19 more than 100 women in the city of Sardasht rallied outside the governorate office protesting the repulsive behavior seen from intelligence agents. They went on to demand judiciary and security officials be held accountable in this regard.
Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was executed at the break of dawn on Saturday, October 25, 2014 in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj, west of Tehran. She had already spent 7 years in prison.
Jabbari, a decorator, was 19-years old when charged with murdering Morteza Sarbandi, a 47-year old married doctor who had three children and was a former employee of the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS). Jabbari, defended herself against the MOIS employee’s attempt to rape her.
Ahmad Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, had at the time described her death sentences as inadmissible and unfair. He cited credible documents that proved Jabbari was innocent of premeditated murder charges. The UN Special Rapporteur emphasized if Jabbari’s claims are true she is twice a victim: once by the individual who intended to rape her; and second, by the judicial system that must protect individuals against sexual and physical aggression.
Jabbari was convicted after a deeply flawed trial process and later executed, despite international efforts to see a fair trial and halt it. Reyhaneh was also put under savage torture by the clerical regime’s henchmen to extract forced confessions.
Reyhaneh Jabbari was laid to rest on October 25, 2014 in Tehran’s Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery. This is while state authorities had dispatched over 150 armed forces to encircle the site and did not allow anyone to deliver any speeches in her memory.
Reyhaneh Jabbari’s execution received widespread coverage in world news media outlets referring to the flagrant violation of human rights by the Iranian regime:
– Amnesty International – 25 October 2014: AI condemned the execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari as “another bloody stain on Iran’s human rights record” and “an affront to justice.”
“The shocking news that Reyhaneh Jabbari has been executed is deeply disappointing in the extreme,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui، Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme. “Once again Iran has insisted on applying the death penalty despite serious concerns over the fairness of the trial.”
– Associated Press – 27 October 2014: “Ahmed Shaheed spoke Monday, a day before presenting his report on Iran to the General Assembly’s human rights committee. Shaheed says he’s never been allowed into Iran and has been banned every year since he was appointed in June 2011. Shaheed again condemned the execution on Saturday of Reyhaneh Jabbari, a woman convicted of murdering a man she said was trying to rape her.”
– The New York Times – 28 October 2014: “A United Nations investigator said on Monday, drawing attention to rights abuses just as Iran’s president is pushing for a diplomatic breakthrough with the West. Mr. Shaheed said he had been shocked by the execution on Saturday of Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, who was convicted of killing a man she had accused of raping her.”