Annual Book: Iranian Women in 2015
The events of 2015 brought no more stability to the clerical regime in Iran despite the nuclear deal, opening to the West and lifting of sanctions.
On the contrary, the people of Iran have become more restless as poverty and hunger bring more pressure on the greater majority of the population.
To gag the public and maintain their control on the country, the mullahs have exercised more repressive measures. As expected, women bear the brunt.
New suppressive forces, including 4600 10-man Guidance Patrols, were formed to further monitor women. Implementation of plans on “chastity and virtue”, fining women who do not properly cover their hair while driving their own cars, segregating city environments, prohibiting hiring of women for certain jobs and of course, arresting and imprisoning women who demand their basic civil and human rights are among hundreds of measures undertaken and thousands of forces mobilized to deprive women of their basic rights and freedoms.
Women continue to be systematically deprived of entering sports stadiums, performing in concerts, singing solo and participating in equal social activities.
Last year, the Tehran regime executed 933 people — 560 of them in secret — including 18 women. Altogether, 63 women have been executed since Rouhani seized power in Iran.
In open contravention of international laws, more security and Bassij forces and plain clothes agents have been stationed on campuses and inside universities to monitor young women’s observance of mandatory dress code and enforce gender segregation among other things.
Discrimination against religious and national minorities has also aggravated. Christians and Baha’is women were detained in large numbers and expelled from universities, deprived of continuing their education despite having high grades.
The mullahs, however, failed to rein in Iranian women and their desire for a democratic and equal life and they are present at the forefront of all democratic protests.
In 2015, women including nurses, teachers, students and mothers and families of political prisoners widely participated in anti-government protests. As the force for change, Iranian women have refused to give in to the misogynist laws of the Iranian regime.
This book is an attempt to draw a small picture of the enormous reality simmering in today’s Iran.
The execution of women in Iran continued in 2015. Under the tenure of Hassan Rouhani (August 2013 to this day) a total of 63 women have been sent to the gallows in Iran.
This has prompted the United Nations Secretary-General and organizations such as Amnesty International to raise their voices in this regard. Below is a list of a number of the executions carried out in 2015, available in official and non-official media outlets.
Naturally, the true numbers are much higher:
– In a mass execution 12 prisoners were sent to the gallows in Ghezel Hessar Prison of Karaj, west of Tehran. Two women were amongst these victims. There have been no reports published of their names and identifications. (March 7, 2015)
– Two women were hanged in Gharchak Varamin Prison, southeast of Tehran. One of the two, Fateme Mehrabani, 39, was married with two children. She had already spent 5 years behind bars. (June 2, 2015)
– Paridokht Molaie-far, 43, was hanged in Ghezel Hessar Prison. She was the mother of one child. This prisoner had spent three years in the advisory ward of Gharchak Varamin Prison. (July 29, 2015)
– A female prisoner was hanged in Gohardasht Prison of Karaj. Her name was Fateme Haddadi, 39, and she was the mother of one small girl. Haddadi had already spent 8 years behind bars. (August 10, 2015)
– A young woman by the name of Fateme Salbehi was executed in Shiraz, central Iran. She was 17 at the time of her alleged crime. Her execution took place on 13 October 2015 in Adel Abad Prison at a time when Amnesty International had the day before, 12 October 2015, warned of this young woman’s imminent execution. Salbehi was born in 1991. At the age of 16 she was married off to a man aged around 30, and according to her she had never met the man prior to their marriage. In April 2009 Fateme was arrested as a suspect and placed under interrogation after her husband’s corpse was found in their home. She was sentenced to death sometime later, despite many loopholes in her case. (October 14, 2015)
– A female prisoner by the name of Hajar Safari was executed in the courtyard of Tabriz Central Prison, northeast Iran on Thursday, November 12. (November 24, 2015)
– Official sources reported the execution of a woman in Ghazvin Central Prison, northeast Iran. The identity of this woman has been reported as F. Zanjanian. This suspect had also been sentenced to 99 lashes prior to her execution, according to the Ghazvin public prosecutor. (December 6, 2015)
Inhumane treatment & cruel punishments
In the past year sentences for stoning, lashes, and the humiliation and assault of women signaled continuing human rights violations and increasing pressure on them in Iran. Splashing acid on the faces of defenseless women, taking place under the pretext of combatting improper veiling and aimed at cementing a climate of fear, continued in 2015 following a horrific trend that started back in October 2014.
Various examples are:
News agencies in Iran wrote on 9 December 2015 of a stoning ruling issued for a young woman. These reports read if the stoning ruling is not carried out, the suspect will be sentenced to execution instead. (Siahkal website – December 9, 2015)
In another case, Ma’soume Zia’, a theosophy activist from the Erfan Halqe theosophy group, has been sentenced to one year in jail and 74 lashes.
The charge raised against her was taking part in a peaceful rally held on 12 June 2006 protesting discriminating laws against women. (June 13, 2015)
Pressures on women in 2015 were not limited to these examples.
In a very humiliating measure on 27 July 2015 Tehran security agents were seen chaining three women and two men and parading them in the streets of Iran’s capital. Such an action raised protests from eyewitnesses. (July 27, 2015)
In a very blatant case, Nasreen Sotudeh – lawyer and human rights activist – was very clearly threatened to be the target of an acid attack, being mutilated and killed. She said in this regard, “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 (MOIS/VEVAK) 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 having interviews with foreign media… 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 threats that I faced during this period.”
Pressures on families and relatives of prisoners and civil activists, aimed at compelling them to succumb to the regime’s demands, is another face of the pressures and threats imposed on women in Iran.
In this regard, the child and wife of Mohammad Ali Taheri were placed under the most intense pressures aimed at forcing him to confess. Azardokht Taheri, the sister of Mohammad Ali Taheri, said Taheri’s wife was arrested and placed under pressure. Authorities had insulted his wife before his eyes. They had insulted his child. Taheri’s wife had attempted to commit suicide four times due to these pressures. (August 13, 2015)
Another shocking case was an attack launched by security forces aimed at arresting a civil activist by the name of Shapour Reshno in the city of Andimeshk in Khuzestan Province, southwest Iran. The raid led to his wife suffering a miscarriage. This labor advocate was arrested for his labor-related activities. (September 24, 2015)
“Acid attacks” can be categorized as one of the most brutal actions against women. Abolfazl Abutorabi, a member of the Legal & Judicial Commission in Iran’s parliament, clearly admitted this trend has continued in significant numbers.
“In one year we had 300 cases of acid attacks across Iran. There is no decline seen in this regard,” he said. (Salamat News – June 23, 2015)
The arrest and arbitrary detention of women and girls in Iran continued in 2015, as in the past, under pretexts such as taking part in protest rallies, conducting civil activities, being active in social affairs, improper veiling and failing to abide by repressive laws, taking part in co-ed parties or eating during the fasting month of Ramadan.
Arrests, along with street repression, increasing ‘vice’ patrols and agents on the streets with the goal of imposing even further control on women, all are being implemented in an organized manner. Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, also expressed his deep concern in this regard, especially over arbitrary arrests in Iran.
In 2015 a number of arrests and detentions covered by the media were as follows:
Arrests on charges of civil activities
Revolutionary Guard intelligence forces arrested a number of women rights activists while summoning or threatening many others in Tehran. Journalist and former student activist Zahra Khandan of Amir Kabeer University was amongst those arrested. (January 20, 2015)
Neda Mostaghimi, a civil activist and supporter of the “Lale Park Mothers” movement, was arrested by security at her workplace on May 4, 2015. Mostaghimi was also arrested back in December 2010 during a ceremony celebrating the birthday of Amir Arshad Tajmir (killed by state forces during the 2009 uprisings) in Tehran’s Behesht-e Cemetery. She was sentenced to three years behind bars and released later on a 1 billion rial bail (around $29,000). (May 5, 2015)
Security agents raided the home of Zheila Negahdar, a civil activist in the city of Sanandaj, western Iran, and arrested her on Tuesday, September 8. When her family sought the reason of her arrest at the city intelligence bureau the agents insulted the family and forced them out of the building. The family was told Negahdar will remain in detention with the bureau for some time. (September 12, 2015)
Zeeba Pour-Habeeb, an activist and teacher of the Erfan Halghe sect, was arrested for the “crime” of civil activities. This civil activist was transferred to Evin Prison after her arrest. (Maf News – December 30, 2015)
Arrest for Internet Activitists
On September 10, 2015, security agents arrested three Internet activists in the town of Mahalat in Tehran Province. The charges raised against them was posting anti-establishment text on their accounts. One of the individuals arrested was a college girl by the name of Narges F. studying IT in Karaj Free University, west of Tehran. (September 14, 2015)
Head of FATA police in Gilan Province, northern Iran, reported the identification and arrest of a 35-year-old woman in the city of Rasht. The charges raised against her was propaganda activities on Instagram. (Khabar Farsi – October 11, 2015)
Arrest for Eating During Fasting Month
The social deputy of the East Azerbaijan police reported the arrest of 92 boys and girls in the Tabriz Hotel coffee shop. The reason for their arrest was eating during fasting hours of Ramadan, he said. 41 girls and 51 boys from Tabriz were amongst those arrested and they were handed over to judiciary officials, the police official added. (State-run Fars news agency – June 23, 2015)
Arrested at a Party
The public prosecutor of Pardis said 89 individuals were arrested when security agents raided a night party in east Tehran.
“The organizers of this even invited various people to this party through social media such as Viber, WhatApp, Line, Tango, Instagram and… 42 men and 47 women were arrested at this party,” said Haider Fattahi. (State-run Fars news agency – May 26, 2015)
50 girls and boys were arrested in an orchard near the city of Dezful, southwest Iran, while taking part in a night party. 26 of those arrested were girls, all aged between 20 to 25, reports indicate. (State-run Tabnak website – July 21, 2015)
The public prosecutor of Taraghbe and Shandiz warned of holding any parties, saying actions were taken in the past few days regarding two such parties held in Taraghbe. A woman had sent messages to others and organized such a party in these orchards, he said. This state official also threatened long prison terms for such measures. “The element or elements behind this event will receive a sentence of 10 years behind bars,” he said. (Fararu – August 24, 2015)
Arrests in Protest Rallies
A number of supporters of Mohammad Ali Taheri, leader of the Erfan Halghe sect, held a gathering outside the Human Rights Office in Tehran to protest his death sentence.
Considering the widespread presence of women in this rally, state authorities had dispatched a large number of women with black chadors and armed with weapons and handcuffs to the scene. A number of women were arrested during this gathering.
The names of those arrested were: Paeez Amini, Masoume Afshar, Mahnaz Rajabi, Melika Kavandi, Fateme Khansari, Roya Arbab, Kobra Ghaem Maghami, Mina Amir Vaezi, Fateme Shokrani, Fariba Ni and Mrs. Bagheri. (August 6, 2015)
On the morning of August 16 a group of women protesting the death sentence issued for Mohammad Ali Taheri rallied outside Tehran’s public prosecutor’s office. Security and plainclothes agents attacked the protesters with batons and tear gas, also firing live bird shots, in an attempt to disperse the crowd. Authorities also arrested dozens of people during this rally. The names of those arrested were: Akram Dousti, Hale Maghsoudi, Sima Shokrani, Raha Tabar, Maryam Amiri, Afshar, Afzali, Farinam, Leida Mokaramian, Thorayia Behboudi Bagheri, Nousheen Mohammadi, Leila Jafari, Zahra Khoshnevisan, Nazanin Sarcheshme, Shahnaz Ismaeeli, Mahnaz Taheri, Reisi, Banafshe Mohammadi and Zohre Samadi. (August 17, 2015)
Parvin Suleimani was arrested for taking part in a rally protesting the death sentence issued for Mohammad Ali Taheri. Suleimani has in recent years been arrested three times for taking part in such rallies in support of Taheri. (August 17, 2015)
Women’s detention centers in Iran consist of interrogation rooms, torture chambers and prison cells in which a prisoner is deprived of their minimum rights.
In these prisons women are deprived of having a lawyer and the right to legal procedures. They are deprived of visits with their children and relatives. Many of them, despite spending long months and years behind bars and/or solitary confinement, never have the ability to make a simple phone call with their children and family members, and are placed under psychological torture through such means.
In Iran female prisoners are deprived of receiving necessary medical services. In many cases despite their deteriorating physical conditions and physicians’ emphasis on having leave time from prison, these women are returned from hospitals back to their prison cells.
On the other hand, being deprived of sanitation and living supplies in prison is yet another dilemma women are facing. They are deprived of even the minimum hygiene supplies. This in itself leads to the rise and spread of contagious illnesses in prison.
Reports from inside the prisons reflect such a troubling reality:
– Women’s prison in Zahedan, southeast Iran: “A number of prisoners in this prison have been literally forgotten, and there are no measures taken for their release or a follow-up on their conditions. There are three death row prisoners from Pakistan amongst the female prisoners. These prisoners have no source of income for their daily needs and are currently under the harshest living conditions inside prison.” (December 10, 2015)
– Gharchak Prison, Varamin, southeast of Tehran: “Gharchak Varamin Prison consists of a number of burrows. There is nearly no privacy for women in these burrows. 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. Water was cut off in June and women were deprived of any showers or using the bathrooms. In August the sewage spilled over and the stench resulting from left over trash and insects all over the facility had made conditions intolerable for them. Female prisoners faced insults from the prison officials who also refused to provide any answers in this regard. (August 22, 2015)
– Women’s prison in Urumieh: “An informed source reported vermin and various insects have been seen at the women’s ward of Urumieh prison. Urumieh prison officials’ neglecting 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.” (Maf News – August 8, 2015)
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)
Others have been thrown behind bars for their civil activities and defending equality movements. Amongst them are artists, child rights activists, political advocates and freethinkers who are only seeking freedom. However, they are responded with detention, pressures and long terms behind bars.
In this regard one must also refer to the status of mothers who are forced to raise their small children while living in the harshest of conditions behind bars. They are facing increasing pressures due to their circumstances. This is psychological torture imposed on these women as they witness their small children’s conditions.
In prison children, themselves, are placed under systematic pressures. Instead of their mother’s love each day these children are seeing the frail and tortured bodies of their mothers, who have become targets of attacks and insults by torturers. A mother who in many cases is only moments away from losing her life due to being deprived of medical care.
Flagrant human rights violations and especially torture and detention in Iran were the subject of an Amnesty International report issued on February 9, 2016. “Thirty years on, some of the worst abuses of the Shah’s time – torture, executions and the suppression of legitimate dissent – are still being replicated in Iran, despite the efforts of the country’s growing and valiant community of human rights defenders,” said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme, in this report.
A look at these prisoners’ conditions in Iran:
Narges Mohammadi is Vice President of the Center of Human Rights Advocates, member of the Step by Step Campaign to Revoke Executions, Center of Women’s Citizenship and President of the Iran Peace Council Executive Board. She was arrested for the first time in 2010. Narges Mohammadi has a son and daughter who are twins. She was arrested in May 2012 and released some time later due to an illness. This civil activist was taken to prison again in May 2015 under a new court case.
Narges Mohammadi’s prison and court hearing procedures:
July 7, 2015 – 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 (MOIS/VEVAK) raised new allegations and requested the utmost punishment for Mohammadi.
Hamid Reza Mohammadi, her brother, explained in this regard, “The MOIS/VEVAK 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.”
July 20, 2015 – Ali and Kiana, the 8-year old twin children of activist Narges Mohammadi, left Iran on July 17 while their mother remains behind bars. Narges Mohammadi has written a letter describing the harassment she has endured in prison. She has compared the hard difficulties of being separated from her children to the mother of Moses leaving her son to the care of the Nile.
She has written about the time in prison and solitary confinement: “The entire time that I was in ward 209, they neither allowed me to phone my children nor see them. Being deprived of seeing my loved ones was very much like losing everything. I kept on repeating the interrogator’s sentence: ‘You will be under more
However, the Evin Prison clinic chief has refused to provide her the special medication prescribed for her; whereas medical specialists have emphasized she needs to take the medication.
August 2, 2015 – Narges Mohammadi was taken to hospital late at night on Saturday, August 1 after suffering from serious muscle paralysis for eight hours. However, judicial authorities had her returned to prison two hours before her weekly meeting despite the fact that hospital physicians insisted she must remain under supervision of a specialist.
August 9, 2015 – Efforts to provide medicine to Narges Mohammadi by her family failed.
August 13, 2015 – Narges Mohammadi’s conditions deteriorated due to judiciary depriving her of medical treatment.
September 18, 2015 – Nargis Mohmmadi, human rights advocate and political prisoner in Iran, has protested being banned from any phone calls with her children and husband. “I have not been allowed to have any contact with my children since they left (the country) two months ago,” she said.
She says despite requesting to be in touch with her children, her follow-ups have been useless and authorities have said senior officials are not allowing such a phone call. Narges Mohammadi said there is no phone in the women’s ward of Evin Prison where 20 women and mothers are held. Only under very specific
conditions is a telephone call allowed in a building outside of the ward, in the office of prison’s guards unit under the watch of security agents, and this itself may only be provided 3 or 4 times a year, she said.
September 28, 2015 – On Narges Mohammadi was been sent to a hospital for an MRI exam. However, she was returned to prison despite physicians demanding she remain hospitalized.
October 14, 2015 – Security agents prevented civil and political advocates from visiting Narges Mohammadi in the Iran Mehr Hospital.
November 3, 2015 – Narges Mohammadi was returned once again from a hospital to Evin Prison. Her transfer took place while the physicians were emphasizing she not be placed under detention.
December 19, 2015 – Narges Mohammadi said a court case has been prepared against her in the Evin prosecutor’s office. She was suddenly summoned without any prior notice a few days before and ordered to show up at the Evin Prison prosecutor’s office.
January 13, 2016 – Narges Mohammadi was once again deprived of receiving any medicine. This prisoner was held in concerning conditions.
Zeinab Jalalian, born in 1983, was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS/VEVAK) agents in Kermanshah, western Iran, and sentenced by a “revolution” court to death and then life in prison for her relations with Kurdish parties.
She has been placed under intense pressure during the past few years, and time and again went on hunger strike protesting her conditions.
Amnesty International issued a statement on July 16, 2014 expressing concern about this prisoner’s conditonis.
August 15, 2015 – Political prisoner Zeinab Jalalian has lost eyesight in one eye due to torture in prison by the Iranian regime’s authorities, and vision in her second is deteriorating every day.
“She is in prison in Kermanshah,” her sister Deniz Jalalian says. “She has been in need of visiting a doctor for a very long time, but authorities are not providing such permission. She has already lost sight in one eye, and both her eyes are interdependent. If she doesn’t undergo surgery she will go completely blind. It has been a year and some months now that her family cannot visit her, and again authorities are denying such permission. Her family asked to have the doctor visit her in prison, but the authorities rejected this request.”
“When they arrested her they literally banged her head to the wall. It is from there that her eye suffered a blow,” she added.
October 8, 2015 – With the coming of winter, Kurdish political prisoner Zeinab Jalalian in Khuy Prison is suffers from eye illnesses more than ever.
“According to the prison clinic, if she is not transferred to a hospital her eyes may become infected because of the winter season. She can lose her eyesight,” a source close to the family said.
She was recently transferred from Diesel Abad Prison in Kermanshah to Khuy Prison and banned from any family visits nor rights to be transferred to a hospital. To this day, time and again has this Kurdish political prisoner been told that if she cooperates with the Intelligence Department, there will be a second review on her ruling and she will be advantaged of having prison leaves. However, she has refused to cooperate with the intelligence office.
November 7, 2015 – While Kurdish political prisoner Zeinab Jalalian is in her eight year of imprisonment in Khoy Prison and suffering from a mouth disease, and despite constant request for medical care outside of prison, judiciary and security officials continue to refuse to provide her with medical assistance.
November 7, 2015 – Zeinab Jalalian wrote a letter to Ahmed Shaheed, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran: “In Iran there are large and notorious prisons for political prisoners, acting as torture chambers to get confessions from innocent individuals who are in jail for the sole reason of defending their beliefs. The Revolutionary Guards intelligence and Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) have a lot of influence in these prisons.
Many political prisoners are deprived of medical care and leave.
According to the prison clinic’s medical report, I am on the verge of going blind beliefs? To this day I have gone on hunger strike many times, yet there have been no changes in my case and I was also not transferred to that prison.”
Atena Farghdani, a cartoonist, was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards on August 23, 2015, and held in detention for two months in ward 2A of Evin Prison, a section controlled by the IRGC. For 20 days during this period she was held in solitary confinement. Farghdani also went on hunger strike for 20 days, protesting not having access to a lawyer, not being able to phone-call her family and her continued illegal detention in solitary confinement. She suffered a heart attack on the 18th day of her hunger strike and was hospitalized. Just a few days later she was returned to Evin Prison. She has been condemned by an “Islamic revolution” court to 12 years and 9 months behind bars. The charges raised against this civil activist has been “propaganda against the state, actions against national security, insulting members of parliament through her drawings, and insulting Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards.”
May 31, 2015 – Atena Farghadani was transferred to Evin Prison’s clinic after her conditions deteriorated. She was suffering internal abdominal bleeding during the past few weeks.
June 1, 2015 – FOX News: An Iranian artist was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison. The family reportedly plans to appeal.
June 3, 2015 – The sentencing of Iranian artist and activist Atena Farghadani to more than 12 years in prison – far in excess of the statutory maximum punishment for the charges she faced – is a terrible injustice, and a violation her rights to free expression and association, Amnesty International said.
“Atena Farghadani has effectively been punished for her cartoons with a sentence that is itself a gross caricature of justice. No one should be in jail for their art or peaceful activism,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
August 8, 2015 – Mohammad Moghimi, Farghadani’s lawyer, referred his client’s dossier to branch 54 of the Appeals Court.
September 15, 2015 – Jailed child rights activist Atena Faraghdani went on hunger strike for three days protesting “bogus allegations” raised against her by security agents. Her mother said her daughter was charged on 12 September, of having “illegitimate relations” with her lawyer, Mohammad Moghimi because she shook his hand in prison. Even the lawyer has been arrested and transferred to Rajaie Shahr Prison in Karaj, west of Tehran.
October 9, 2015 – In a note written by Atena Farghadani leaked from prison, which has been seen by Amnesty International, she says the judicial authorities took her to a medical center outside the prison on 12 August 2015 and forced her to submit to the tests, purportedly with the purpose of investigating the charge against her.
“It is shocking that on top of imposing a ludicrous charge on Atena Farghadani for the ‘crime’ of shaking hands with her lawyer, the Iranian authorities have forced her to undergo a ‘virginity and pregnancy test’,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.
Coerced “virginity testing” is internationally recognized as a form of violence and discrimination against women and girls…
Sedighe Moradi, 55, with one daughter, was arrested on May 1 and transferred to ward 209 of Evin Prison. For around 7 months she was placed under physical and psychological torture by Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS/VEVAK) interrogators. This prisoner, accused of “moharebe” (enmity against God) was sentenced to 10 years behind bars and exile in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj, west of Tehran. Moradi was a political prisoner back in the 1980s.
August 2, 2015 – Sedighe Moradi was transferred to a hospital for an MRI exam.
August 11, 2015 – After 4 years behind bars Moradi remains deprived of medical leave. She is suffering from an illness due to the time she has spent in prison.
“She has been deprived of a phone call or any medical leave since 2011 when she was arrested,” her husband said.
August 18, 2015 – Sedigheh Moradi wrote a letter from inside prison referring to the pressures and restrictions faced by jailed mothers. “In the 1980s I spent my youth in prison. I was in prison for four years. I endured that era with a number of mothers. Mothers who were arrested along with their children, or were pregnant and gave birth in prison. Four years ago in 2011 when they raided our home and arrested me, my daughter, Yasaman was 11- years-old. I was arrested before her eyes, full of tears.”
August 31, 2015 – The conditions of political prisoner Sedigheh Moradi has been reported as critical and yet Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence interrogators are preventing her transfer to hospitals outside of prison. Her blood reached the risky level of 6 over 4 and she was left in very dangerous conditions. Her cellmates rushed her to Evin prison’s clinic yet she was returned to the ward after a short while without receiving any serious treatment.
September 9, 2015 – Sedigheh Moradi is suffering from a torn meniscus while she is detained in the women’s ward of Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison.
Considering her injury she needed to be sent to a hospital.
The husband of political prisoner said she needs to have a letter sent to the prison permitting her to be transferred to a hospital. However, no such letter is being provided.
Maryam Akbari Monfared
Political prisoner Maryam Akbari Monfared, 40, is a mother of three and a protester of the results of the controversial 2009 presidential elections in Iran. She was arrested in December of that year and sentenced to 15 years behind bars. The charges raised against her include “moharebe” (enmity against God) through her connections with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran.
June 24, 2015 – Maryam Akbari Monfared wrote in her 5th year in prison:
“I was convicted without having a legal lawyer and I was not even allowed to defend myself.” She writes about the impact of prison on her children: “I am a mother and my children have been visiting their mother from behind the windows of the prison’s meeting hall for more than five years now. The only thing that I have requested was justice! People in this society and mothers in this land are accused and convicted without the slightest right to defend themselves.”
August 11, 2015 – Despite her dire physical conditions and urgent need for medical care, Maryam Akbar Monfared was deprived of any medical leave and urgent medical care.
October 14, 2015 – Iranian officials deliberately prolonged the jail sentence of Maryam Akbari Monfared, currently detained in Evin Prison. This is a violation of article 134 of the Iranian regime’s constitution. Although further court hearings for her have been held by the Iranian Supreme Court, judiciary officials once again upheld her previous sentence of jail time.
Zahra Zehtabchi, born in 1969, is a sociology expert and a researcher in social sciences. She was arrested on October 13, 2015 in a street and transferred to the Heravi Square police station’s intelligence office. She was deprived of any phone calls or family visits for four months, and during this period she was placed under physical and psychological tortures. Her husband was released three weeks later, yet Zehtabchi was held behind bars despite the fact that the initial investigations by Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS/VEVAK) experts had come to an end.
The interrogators threatened the Zehtabchi family that any reports to the media about her conditions would have grave consequences for her. Keeping Zehtabchi in solitary confinement for a long period has led to serious physical illnesses for this researcher. She had been arrested once before in 2009 and released a few days later. This political prisoner is the mother of two small girls.
Maryam Sadat Yahyavi:
Maryam Sadat Yahyavi, a social and political activist, was sentenced to 7½ years behind bars. She was arrested in November 2014 by Revolutionary Guards security forces and kept behind bars for 17 days. Yahyavi is currently sentenced on charges of assembly and collusion with the intention to disrupt national security. She is banned for two years from any membership in political parties, and taking part in gatherings and activities in the media and cyberspace.
Minu Mortazi Langrudi:
Minu Mortazi Langrudiy, from the Mothers of Peace Forum and a member of the Council of National-Religious Activists, has been sentenced to six years behind bars and a two year ban on political and civil activities; five years for “assembly and collusion for establishing the Council of National-Religious Activists” and one year for “propaganda against the system for tarnishing images.”
Neda Mostaghimi, a supporter of ‘Laleh Park Mothers’ and a political prisoner, is currently under dire conditions in the women’s ward of Evin Prison. She is suffering from intense asthma and other breathing difficulties.
Mostaghimi is condemned to 3 years behind bars.
Sara Saie is an activist of the ‘Erfan Halghe’ sect. She was arrested on November 21 during a civil activist rally outside Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, and thus transferred to Gharchak Varamin Prison, southeast of the Iranian capital. The charge raised against this civil activist is “disrupting public order”. Saie was one of the pupils of Mohammad Ali Taheri.
Reyhane Haj Ibrahim Dabbagh:
Reyhane Haj Ibrahim Dabbagh, born in 1981, was arrested in December 2009 and sentenced to death in primary court hearings. This political prisoner is currently detained in the women’s ward of Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison and suffering from illnesses such as intestinal colitis. However, to this day she has been deprived of medical leave.
Abuse of basic rights and freedoms in Iran
The dictatorship ruling Iran has based its rule on violating women’s basic rights. Quite the opposite of the viewpoint adopted by the Iranian Resistance: “We believe in full equality between men and women in all political and social rights, and equal participation of women in leadership. Women enjoy equal rights in marriage, divorce, education, employment and free choice of clothing.” None of the regime’s laws and bills are ever adopted without violating women’s rights. This subject can be explicitly seen in civil laws, criminal laws, labor laws, the laws of education, insurance and retirement.
Women are easily arrested and detained in the streets under the pretext of mandatory dress code, and also beaten and insulted by regime agents.
In their family life there is no room for women to make decisions for their own fate or take the custody of their children. The law has recognized this as the right of the man.
Many women are seen resorting to suicides due to fixed marriages, or becoming homeless and selling goods as street vendors.
Women are also banned and insulted in other aspects of social activities, such as participating in concerts and other music events, or entering sports stadiums. This trend continues on a daily basis. In this chapter examples of these rights violations are seen alongside positions and remarks made by regime officials:
Repression against Women with Mandatory Hijab
In 2015 the regime saw its initiative to enforce “hijab and virtue” end in failure. Under orders issued by Khamenei, this plan was aimed at imposing repression and increasing restrictions on women. This plan had 9 articles allowing security agents to take action against women in the streets, and punish them under the pretext of improper hijab. In this regard female agents were dispatched to streets, ski resorts, beaches, schools and offices to impose daily regulations over women to have them controlled and arrested.
This initiative was published in a significant number of state-run media outlets in a short matter of time after being implemented. In one example, the Tehran police chief reported 21,000 vehicles were impounded. Iran’s deputy police chief referred to “Guidance” patrols increasing forty-fold across the country, and the Tehran traffic police reporting the drivers and passengers of 40,000 vehicles received warnings about improper hijab! Agence France Presse also covered this report.
A number of the main examples include:
Crackdown measures become law – A member of Iran’s parliament Cultural Commission said the plan to protect hijab and virtue has been adopted. This bill has 9 article. Taking action against improper hijab in vehicles and in public areas are amongst the articles of this plan. (Tasnim news agency – July 21, 2015)
Public action against women – Ardebil public prosecutor said actions will be taken against women on the spot from now on. (Ardebil public prosecutor – July 31, 2015)
Harsh action against women – Alamalhoda, Friday prayer imam in Mashhad: “Women with makeup should not be treated with kindness! (Digarban, Asr-e Iran – June 30, 2015)
1 million rial fines – Pezhman-far, spokesman of the parliament’s Cultural Commission said: “Traffic police agents can take action against drivers with improper hijab and issue 1 million rial fines (around $30).” (August 10, 2015)
Lashes awaiting improperly veiled women – The public prosecutor in Semnan (northern Iran) said: “Fines or whipping will be prepared for those those having improper clothing and make up in public.” (Iran daily – September 9, 2015)
Over 21,000 vehicles impounded! – Greater Tehran police chief Sajedi-nia referred to over 21,000 different vehicles being impounded in night raids and due to improper veiling and excessive sounds. He described these as main crimes by drivers. (Asr-e Iran daily – September 8, 2015)
Organizing 46,000 crackdown agents – Deputy Chief of the headquarters of Enjoining Good and Forbidding Wrong reported 4,600 groups of 10-members have been trained and organized for “verbal warnings”. This entity is active under Khamenei’s watch and chaired by Ahmad Jannati. (September 11, 2015)
AFP: Improper hijab – A judiciary official said a court in Tehran has fined two women $260 each for violating Islamic dress codes and improper use of mandatory hijabs in public.
Police patrols in girls’ schools – Tabriz police chief said this force has stationed agents with vehicles, motorcycles and on foot in girls’ schools. (September 27, 2015)
Mandatory hijab plan implemented under emphasis by Khamenei – Ali Molazadeh, a manager of the Ministry of Interior said, “The headquarters of protecting public security is active in two fields of hijab and virtue cultures, and how to clarify citizens’ rights. These two issues are amongst the leader’s worries that must be addressed. (October 21, 2015)
Necessity to use unified clothing – The joint commission to evaluate the virtue and hijab plan adopted a new bill based on which all entities must present their women’s clothing according to plans approved by the commission. (November 2, 2015)
“Guidance” patrols increase forty fold – Iran’s deputy police chief said ‘guidance’ patrols are increased forty fold. He also said 26 entities have responsibilities regarding ‘virtue and hijab’ issues. (Fars news agency – November 8, 2015)
2,000 cars impounded – Iran’s police spokesman said during the past two weeks nearly 10,000 drivers were warned of hijab regulations. 2,000 of these vehicles were completely stopped and impounded. (Mehr news – November 15, 2015
AFP: women arrested – Iran has issued more than 1,000 warnings and arrested dozens of people while imposing laws aimed at women with clothing not meeting on government-set regulations. (AFP – September 2, 2015)
Punishment of improper veiling = prison! – Hossein Reza Delfan, head of public courts in Khoramabad (western Iran) said, “Those who appear in public without proper hijab will be sentenced to jail time from 10 to 60 days, and/or a fine.” (Khabaronline – December 3, 2015)
40,000 cars impounded – Head of Greater Tehran traffic police referred to the past 8 months regarding actions taken against improper hijab. “During this period we have had more than 40,000 cases of warnings issued for improper hijab, including cars confiscated and individuals taken to the judiciary.” (Fars news agency – December 15, 2015)
Security patrols in Tehran – Tabnak website wrote: “Vans of moral security patrols have been seen in Tehran’s streets taking firm action against women with improper hijab.” (Tabnak website – November 24, 2015)
Women Police in the Seas – Deputy Chief of sea patrols provided explanations over women’s activities in this field. “Women are used when there is a need for body searches, controls and administrative activities” said Mohammad Ali Salami. (Tasnim news agency – December 19, 2015)
Police in ski resorts – Tehran police chief Sajedi-nia said, “Considering the fact that there is a need for women police officers in ski resorts around the capital, there was a need sensed to have women in mountain police and ski police units. A number of female police agents are stationed in ski resorts to take action against improper veiling.” (Asr-e Iran – December 13, 2015)
Beauty salon patrols – Advisor in women’s affairs in the Punishment Organization said, “Joint patrols in Tehran’s women beauty salons will begin to take firm action against violators of this industry.” (ISNA news agency – October 6, 2015)
Crackdown in Arts & Music
From the 1979 revolution after the religious dictatorship came to power in Iran, singers, artists and many renown women in Iran’s arts and music were forced to end their activities. They faced bans, restrictions and stonewalling in their work, all aimed at silencing and bringing their activities to an end. These bans became more widespread each year, from women’s appearances to taking part in the most basic orchestras.
Theater play stopped for actress’ clothing! – The Ministry of Culture and Guidance stopped all activities by the Pinocchio Theater, saying its actresses’ clothing were improper! (Khabaronline – August 10, 2015)
9 actresses banned from work – 9 renowned actresses in Iran’s cinemas were summoned and banned from their work due to “improper hijab and breaking the Norm”. Orders to ban these artists from their work were issued by the IRIB Monitoring Council. (September 19, 2015)
Co-ed groups refused performing license – The “Kamkar” group in Isfahan was not issued a license. This group consists of male and female artists that perform co-ed songs.
Women banned from singing solos – Ali Jannati, Rouhani’s Minister of Guidance said, “No women will be given licenses to sing solos.” (Digarban – November 13, 2015)
National anthem cancelled – Tehran Symphonic Orchestra’s program was cancelled in the Azadi Sports Complex due to the fact that half of this orchestra’s musicians are women. (Asr-e Iran – November 29, 2015)
Crackdown in Sports and Attending Stadiums
One of the main fields where women were banned and literally eliminated from in the society was their presence in sports stadiums. From senior mullahs, the repressive police and even Rouhani’s Interior Minister entered the scene in this regard throughout 2015 to impose this ban on women.
Women not allowed into sports stadiums! – Montazer al-Mahdi, police spokesman in Iran referred to women being banned from sports stadiums and said, “Women will not be allowed into sports stadiums.” (Tabnak – June 8, 2015)
Our duty is to prevent women’s presence – Iran’s police chief said in Qom, “If we are preventing women from taking part in concerts and sports stadiums, it is based on our natural and sharia duty.” He referred to the issue of women entering sports stadiums and reminded, “In this regard we will be taking action based on the law. Some people may be criticizing us, but the police is obligated to implement the law.” (Entekhab – June 13, 2015)
Interior Minister: Women remain banned – Iranian Interior Minister Rahmani Fazli: “We don’t have any new orders to allow ladies into stadiums, and we will be acting based on the previous laws. The media should report this to the public.” (ISNA news agency – June 17, 2015)
Preventing entrance into Azadi Stadium – Intelligence forces have prevented the presence of women and girls in stadiums hosting a volleyball match between the national teams of Iran and the United States. Even female reporters were banned from entering the site. (June 19, 2015)
CNN: Women banned from entering stadiums – At a time when Christine Lagarde and others are attempting to create equal playing fields for women, women in Iran cannot enter any such areas. From 2012 women in Iran have not even been allowed into stadiums in which men play volleyball. (CNN – October 30, 2015)
(Poverty, Drug Addiction, Sleeping in the Streets & Runaway Girls)
In Iran under the mullahs’ rule, the most fundamental rights and freedoms of women has become a subject against them through misogynist laws, aimed at depriving them of their basic freedoms. For example:
– On the issue of inheritance, women receive a portion half of men. When the value of a woman’s life, her very being, body parts, and even her testimony in court is half that of a man, it is natural for inheritance to follow in line. (Civil Code)
– In marriages a woman needs the permission of her father or grandfather. (Article 1043 of the Civil Code)
– The husband is in charge of the family. (Article 1105 of the Civil Code)
– A woman must live in the house specified by her husband. (Article 1114 of the Civil Code)
– Choosing a job and occupation for women, permission to travel, is based on a letter from her husband. (Article 1117 of the Civil Code)
– A man can divorce a woman whenever he wishes. (Article 1133 of the Civil Code)
– A woman cannot become a custodian without her husband’s consent. (Article 1234 of the Civil Code)
The result of these laws is seen in runaway girls, increasing number of women sleeping in the streets, drug addiction and poverty in the society. The regime’s own officials and media outlets are admitting to this phenomenon:
Growing number of women sleeping in the streets – Fateme Daneshvar, head of the Tehran City Council Social Committee said: “In 2012, when Tehran had 12,000 people sleeping in the streets, the number of such women stood at 3,000. The total number of people sleeping in the streets reached 15,000 in 2013 and 20,000 in 2014. To this ratio the number of such women in Tehran has increased.” (Tabnak – June 6, 2015)
Sleeping in the streets skyrocketing – Women are seen sleeping in empty and insecure streets, including girls 17 or 18 years old who are now forced to sleep in such conditions due to drug addiction. Many of these girls have been seen sleeping in these circumstances for years now. The use of narcotics amongst these women have made them even more vulnerable. (Tasnim news agency – May 24, 2015)
Catastrophe in the making for homeless women – Rasoul Khadem, member of the Tehran City Council said a number of people sleeping in the streets are suffering from illnesses such as hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, gall and louse. However, Health Ministry hospitals are not accepting them due to the fact that they lack any credit or money. In Tehran, greenhouses have no place for homeless women. (Tabnak – June 26, 2015)
3% of homeless people are pregnant women! – Reza Jahangiri-far, deputy of Social Services in Tehran Municipality said 3% of the 15% of identified homeless people are pregnant women. (Ana news agency – July 13, 2015)
State agents attack homeless women – State agents in Tehran attacked defenseless homeless women. Greater Tehran police chief Sajedi-nia personally supervised this raid. (IRNA news agency – December 1, 2016)
Unborn babies being sold in Iran! – A university professor says unborn babies are being sold as their mothers are still pregnant. Dr. Cheetchiyan says the status of homeless women is so dire that unborn babies are being sold at a price of 17.5 million rials (around $500). (Mehr news agency – August 22, 2015)
Street children experienced sexual relations – Ibrahim Ghafari, deputy of social affairs in Iran’s Welfare Organization said, “According to research conducted in Tehran, 21% of street children have experienced some type of sexual relations. It is clear that homeless girls are the most vulnerable.” (October 8, 2015)
Number of homeless people – Shahindokht Molavardi, Hassan Rouhani’s deputy in women and family affairs said in August 2015, “5,000 of the 15,000 people sleeping in the streets across the country are women.” (ILNA news agency – July 11, 2015)
College students become homeless – Tehran mayor Ghalibof said on a subject regarding young women and college students seen amongst homeless people in Tehran, “The city of Tehran has 15,000 people sleeping in the streets. Amongst these individuals, there are people who have interpreted 4 or 5 books, and some are graduates from Iran’s government-run universities!” (IRNA news agency – October 20, 2015)
Newborn babies sold by underprivileged mothers – Fateme Daneshvar, head of the Tehran City Council social affairs committee said, “Women sleeping in the streets and prostitutes go to various hospitals in south and central Tehran, and after their babies are born they sell them for 1 to 2 million rials (around $30 to $60).”
“Another issue on the rise in this city is runaway girls coming to Tehran from other cities. Some people are purchasing newborn babies from these girls at higher prices,” she added. (Asr-e Iran – November 8, 2015)
Statistics on runaway girls – Ahmad Delbari, director general of the Tehran Province Welfare Department said, “Each year 10 to 15% of girls between the ages of 14 to 18 run away from their homes. Mental disorders amongst women is reported at 38%.”
Delbari referred to the number of marriages and divorces from March 2014 to March 2015 and said, “A divorce is registered once every 19 hours. Statistics show the highest number of divorces were in the 25-29 age group.” (Asr-e Iran – August 16, 2015)
Pregnant woman sets herself ablaze – A pregnant woman set herself ablaze before the very eyes of her husband and child. She was 29 years old and her name was ‘Hava’. (September 28, 2015)
Girl from northwest Iran commits suicide – A 21-year-old girl from the city of Bukan in northwest Iran committed suicide, protesting being force into a marriage. The name of this young girl is Kothar Rahmani, and she was forced by her father to marry a man 20 years older tha
Suppression of religious and ethnic minorities in Iran
In the past year religious and ethnic minorities were one of the targets of crackdown in Iran. Due to their religious beliefs they were detained, insulted, jailed and deprived of employment and education.
These pressures increased during the Christian New Year as members of the Baha’i minority community witnessed a significant increase in humiliating measures. The U.N. General Assembly’s 62nd resolution condemning systematic human rights violations in Iran also referred to this issue.
In addition to imprisoned female Baha’is who were placed behind bars for the sole reason of belonging to the Baha’i community, they are deprived of their minimum rights and increasingly insulted and humiliated by security agents. This year more Baha’i women were arrested for their beliefs or deprived of continuing their studies. The names and identifications of these individuals are:
– Fariba Kamal Abadi – arrested in 2008 – sentencing: 20 years – Evin Prison
– Mahvash Thabet – arrested in 2005 – sentencing: 20 years – Evin Prison
– Neva & Nika Kholusi – 2 sisters – arrested in 2012 – sentenced to 4 and 6 years respectively
– Naseem Bagheri – arrested in 2014 – sentencing: 4 years
– Susan Tabianian – arrested in 2014 – sentencing: 1 year
– Azar Toluie – arrested in 2011
– Faran Hessami – arrested in 2011
– Elham Farahani (Naimi) – arrested in 2015 – Evin Prison
– Shabnam Mottahed – sentencing: 2 years
– Farima Farzandi – sentencing: 2 years (August 1, 2015)
A number of Baha’i citizens, including 24 women from the cities of Gorgan, Minudahst and Gonbad Kavoos were sentenced to a total of 193 years behind bars. (January 25, 2016)
Two days after the death of a Baha’i citizen, Mrs. Mohammadi Far, the police prevented her burial in the Baha’is cemetery. (July 14, 2015)
Dorsa Gholizadeh, a construction college student, was summoned by the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS/VEVAK) and expelled from the final term exams. (July 27, 2015)
Ava Amini Yazdeli, a member of Iran’s Baha’i community born in 1988, participated in the national exams. However, after she entered her specifications in a government website she received a message saying she cannot take part in the tests. (September 9, 2015)
Mahiyareh Nadaf took part in the national exams in the field of liberal arts. However, after she entered her specifications in a government website, she received a message saying she is banned from going to college. (September 12, 2015)
Delaram Sadeghzadeh, a college student ranked sixth in the country, was deprived of continuing her studies. In response to her follow-ups she was told, “You are a Baha’I.” (December 10, 2015)
Ms. Elham Pakru Miyando-ab, a Baha’i Iranian was expelled from college. She was studying to receive her master’s degree in computer and software engineering. (January 13, 2016)
A female Christian by the name of Mahtab Mohammadi was arrested in Tehran. Prior to this security officials had placed pressure on the Mohammadi family. Mahtab’s mother and sister had been summoned. She herself was arrested after their summoning. (October 23
Despite all the repressive plans and agendas, increasing pressure on women over mandatory hijab and depriving them of their minimum civil and political rights, the presence of Iranian women in rallies protesting the dictatorship was very significant through the course of 2015.
Mothers and prisoners’ relatives behind bars, kindergarten teachers outside the regime’s parliament, lawyers and civil/political activists outside the judiciary and college girls on campus protested the mullahs’ misogynist and inhumane policies, and actively raised their demands against all odds.
A look at the protests in 2015:
Protests staged by Civil Advocates & Prisoners’ Families
We are all Atena – A group of lawyers, civil activists and human rights advocates rallied outside the judiciary in Tehran, demanding the release of Atena Farghadani. (June 2, 2015)
Mothers: We will continue our efforts – The ‘Lale Park Mothers’ movement issued a statement marking the 6th anniversary of their activities: “Six years of perseverance and resistance by the Mothers of Lale Park came with series of arrests. However, these restrictions never resulted in us backing down from our efforts and resistance. Let us continue our struggle and realize the rights that have been violated by the cruel rulers.” (July 8, 2015)
Prisoners’ mother: I will not be silenced! – Zelikha Mousavi, the mother of jailed blogger Hossein Ronaghi Malaki, said: “My son has been taken to prison. He was fit but they made him ill. He has lost his kidneys, they violated his rights, and now they are saying be quiet! Don’t give interviews! Don’t say a word! I will not be silenced.” (July 7, 2015)
Families of death-row prisoners stage rally – On July 21, 2015 a group of women whose relatives have been sentenced to death, rallied outside the regime’s parliament raising one specific demand: Stop the death sentences of our relatives! (July 31, 2015)
Mothers: We will continue protesting – Mothers of prisoners and youths, who lost their lives on the streets or in the regime’s dungeons during the 2009 uprising, held a rally. The mother of Saeed Zenali, who has been looking for her son for 16 years, emphasized on a just court to prosecute those responsible for her son’s murder. (August 6, 2015)
Wives, relatives of workers stage rally – A number of municipality workers’ wives held a rally outside the city council building protesting delays in their husbands’ paychecks and a decrease in overtime work. (July 10, 2015
Protesting acid attacks – Cultural, civil, women activists and a number of Bukan locals in northwest Iran held a rally outside this city’s governorate square protesting acid attacks against women.
It is said one of the acid attack victims was Susane Ismaeel-nezhad, a construction college student. “Security entities are behind the acid attacks against women,” her brother Ali said. (July 16, 2015)
Protesting Rouhani’s presence – “We the women of Sanandaj (west of Iran) do not accept Rouhani’s presence.”
This was the main slogan of women who staged a rally on July 26 in this city against Rouhani’s trip to Sanandaj. (July 27, 2015)
Protest rally in Tehran – Women arrested
A number of supporters of political prisoner Mohammad Ali Taheri rallied outside the Human Rights Office in Tehran expressing their protest to the inhumane death sentence issued for Taheri. A number of people were arrested in this gathering. (August 6, 2015)
Protesting women attacked
A group of women protesting the death sentence issued for Mohammad Ali Taheri gathered outside the judiciary in Tehran. They held placards written: “Release Mohammad Ali Taheri.” Security and plainclothes agents resorted to attacking and using batons and tear gas, along with live bird shots to disperse the crowd. Dozens of protesters were detained in this rally. (August 17, 2015)
Azerbaijan rally – Dozens of college girls took part in a gathering held at Tabriz University against a state TV program insulting the native Turk language in Iran. Protesters demanded an end to such racist remarks in state TV programs. (November 10, 2015)
Protests by Nurses
The nursing community in Iran witnessed numerous protest gatherings in the span of 2015. Their protests were raised against an unfair plan presented by Rouhani’s Health Ministry of providing pay only based on an employee’s performance. This plan violates the rights of nurses, taking money from their wages and placing it at the disposal of government supporters.
The chronology of these protests are as follows:
Tehran, Tabriz, Yazd and Chalus – June 28, 2015
A group of Imam Reza Hospital nurses in Tabriz staged a protest rally. Nurses of the children’s hospital protested on day 1; Shohada & Civil Hospital on day two; Razi and Imam Reza hospitals on day 3; Razi and Shohada hospitals on day 4; and nurses of Imam Reza Hospital protested yet again on day 5.
Nurses in the cities of Tehran, Tabriz, Yazd and Chalus protested their low paychecks and poor living conditions. They had one demand: “Where is our paycheck? There is discrimination and difference in the wages!” On this day Tabriz witnessed other rallies by a large number of nurses. They gathered at different hospitals including Razi, Civil, Sina and Shohada across the city.
Hamedan – June 30, 2015
Nurses held a rally outside the central building of the Medical Sciences University. Doctors, hospital staff, lab employees and nurses in Hamedan rallied in protest to the Health Ministry plan. They were all seen chanting, “Enough talking, start acting!”
Tehran – June 30, 2015
Hundreds of nurses poured into the streets and expressed their protests regarding their poor conditions.
Tabriz – July 11, 2015
Nurses of Shohada and the Children’s hospitals protested Rouhani’s Health Ministry plan. Nurses of Razi and Imam Reza hospitals protested their low wages and injustice imposed by officials
Tehran – July 11, 2015
A number of nurses in the Gandhi Diplomatic Hospital gathered at the facility hall #2 of this building and held a protest rally.
Tehran – July 12, 2015
Over 70 female nurses in Tehran staged a gathering outside the Health Ministry building.
Behbahan – July 12, 2015
Nurses of the Mostafa Khomeini Hospital held a gathering protesting the plan proposed by the Health Ministry.
Kermanshah – July 13, 2015
For the second consecutive day nurses in Imam Reza Hospital of Kermanshah, being the largest hospital in western Iran, went on strike protesting their low wages.
Tehran & Mashhad – July 14, 2015
A number of nurses in Tehran’s Ruzbe Hospital went on strike. “These nurses were around 50 in total and they were protesting the government’s actions,” an eyewitness said. On this very day employees of the Eye Specialists Center in Mashhad refused to show up at work.
Shiraz – July 15, 2015
Over 200 nurses in Namazi Hospital of Shiraz went on strike, demanding justice regarding their job status
Kermanshah & Tehran – July 21, 2015
Nurses held a rally in Kermanshah protesting not receiving their paychecks. On this very day nurses of Tehran’s Najmiya Hospital also went on strike.
Tehran – July 25, 2015
Nearly 100 nurses in Tehran’s Ruzbe Hospital went on strike, holding their gathering in the hospital courtyard.
Tehran – July 27, 2015
Around 15 female medical college students rallied outside the Health Ministry building protesting this ministry’s plan. This rally was interrupted as Health Ministry security authorities began rounding up the students’ placards and confiscating their video cameras.
Another rally was staged by physicians and medical students in Tehran’s “1,000 Bed Hospital”, and most of the protesters were young women protesting the murder of Dr. Peerzadeh in Ardebil, northwest of Iran.
They described this act as an ungenerous murder and held the Revolutionary Guards responsible.
Asghar Peerzadeh, an expert physician in blood and cancer, was killed in a residential home on Thursday, July 23. He had warned for some time about the Revolutionary Guards extracting uranium from water sources near Sabalan, and the water becoming radioactive as a result.
Maku & Karaj – July 29, 2015
Nurses of Khomeini hospital in Maku, northwest Iran, went on strike on Wednesday, July 29. Nurses of Bahonar Hospital in Karja, west of Tehran, also went on strike on this day. The strikers expressed their support for Madame Dr. Razmjouie who was attacked and beaten by state agents in Nour Abad Momaesini.
Kermanshah & Kazeroun – July 30, 2015
In Kermanshah a protest rally by nurses and medical staff of Taleghani Hospital demanding their paychecks that had been delayed for three months.
In Kazeroun physicians, nurses and medical staff held a rally outside the city governorate office.
Tabriz, Lorestan, Shiraz, Tehran, Gorgan, Karaj, Bukan and Salmas – August 3, 2015
Nurses of Razi Hospital in Tabriz held a rally. As seen in this picture they were raising slogans of “Protest” and “Ban Discrimination”.
On this very day nurses of Imam Ali Hospital in Lorestan, Ordibehesht Hospital in Shiraz, Khatam al-Anbia Hospital in Salmas, Khomeini Hospital in Mahabad, Hashemi-nezhad and Resalat hospitals in Tehran, Rajaie Hospital in Shiraz, Massoud Hospital in Gorgan, Bahonar Hospital in Karaj, and Bukan Hospital held rallies protesting the Health Ministry’s plan. They had one demand: Nurses have the right to receive paychecks based on their hours of work!
Isfahan, Kerman & Kashan – November 30, 2015
Rallies continued into late fall of 2015. On November 30 students of Isfahan Medical School held a rally with their professors. On this day students of Kerman and Kashan medical schools also held protest gatherings.
Tehran – December 1, 2015
Nursing students of Beheshti Medical School in Tehran rallied on Tuesday, December 1, protesting the Health Ministry plan. They said, “This plan will destroy nurses’ jobs in the future.”
A group of female students in various universities across Ghazvin Province rallied outside the Ghazvin governorate office. This rally was held in protest to the limbo status of the girls’ dormitory and state officials failing to take action to address the students’ problems.
Protests by Employees & Teachers
During the past few months a large number of women were fired from their government jobs after maternity leave. On Tuesday, August 4 a group of these women rallied outside the regime’s parliament in Tehran protesting their expulsion from work and describing such measures by the government as illegal.
In another similar act on August 9 nearly 200 kindergarten teachers rallied outside the regime’s parliament, protesting the methods used by Rouhani’s government in hiring teachers. They had slept outside the parliament from the night before, emphasizing their demands to all parties concerned. The teachers also protested the laws hindering their actions. One of the women taking part in the gathering said, “We were asked to leave the site and come again another day to hold our gathering. We refused and stayed here overnight, in front of the parliament.”
On September 22 kindergarten teachers in Gilan, northern Iran, held a gathering outside the Gilan Provincial building protesting the the part-time teaching law.