Dominique Attias, Chair of the Board of Directors at the European Lawyers Foundation
Speech at the IWD2023 Conference in Brussels, March 4, 2023
Maryam Rajavi said: We can unite; we must!
Iranian women, 40 years of bloodshed gives you the right to revolt. A long history of suffering and struggle. 40 years of oppression, torture, and invisibilization. You are the forgotten power of the world. Today, Iranian women are at the forefront of the struggle. Don’t think that Iranian women woke up only six months ago. As Maryam Rajavi has told you, what is happening now is the revelation of a long and painful struggle led by the women of Iran, of all ages, from all regions. They have passed on the torch of struggle generation after generation. Now, supported by courageous young Iranians who also aspire to freedom, they come to say: Enough, enough; No Shah, no mullahs!
They demand freedom and democracy for themselves and for their people. As Maryam Rajavi said, they no longer want Sharia laws imposed by the mullahs, segregation, or apartheid. They do not want any more humiliation for themselves and their daughters. They reject the brutal dictatorship of Ali Khamenei and all loyalists. They want the overthrow of the entire regime, not some small measures to appease them.
Justice, equal rights, and freedoms for the women of Iran! They shout loudly: down with the tyrant, whether he is shah or mullah.
In the first months after the 1979 revolution, these bloodthirsty mullahs sought to impose the compulsory wearing of the veil. With their own slogan: the veil or a blow on the head!
No more such diktats; Iranian women must be free to choose their clothing, including the veil or not. Down with the compulsory veil law! Down with all these laws that violate women’s rights, that judge them and enslave them. Laws made by men who consider women to be objects of property, their property. These women are shouting at you: Freedom! Whatever the price to pay.
And even today, they pay a high price. They have been arrested, disappeared, tortured, and worse, without ever breaking their will to do so. They attack women of all ages, even girls. They try to poison them to prevent them from having access to education, to stop the revolt. Down with these monsters!
The women’s revolution is on the march and nothing and no one will stop it despite the fierce repression of these bloodthirsty madmen. They force our admiration. That’s why we stand by them, as you said. Women of Europe and women of the world. In this city of Brussels, the heart of the European institutions, we are here to call on the European Commission: stop making a pact with the devil! Iranian women have met the devil! Hostages themselves, so many times in their jails. Who better than them can understand the suffering of foreign hostages and their families. Releasing one of them will not change anything.
These treacherous mullahs must commit themselves before the United Nations, as Maryam Rajavi says, to stop their hostage-taking diplomacy. Stop fearing this regime that massacres its people. Look at the Iranian women who are not afraid with their bare hands facing their weapons. They are not afraid!
The Pasdaran are terrorists. The European parliamentarians were not mistaken, and history will remember them. The Iranian people will not forget it.
The struggle continues and will never cease. I knew the Iranian Resistance and the women of the People’s Mojahedin movement when I was head of the Paris Bar. I am a lawyer and I took an oath to practice my profession with conscience, independence and humanity. The women of the NCRI came looking for me and made me discover the massacres committed by the mullahs in that tragic summer of 1988. 30,000 people murdered, women, sometimes pregnant, teenagers, men of all ages as now. And Europe did not move. Already, the youth was paying the price of its courage for the sole reason that it did not want to rally to the mullahs’ deadly policy. Already, more than 30 years ago, Iranian women paid with their lives with their brothers, fathers, husbands…
The fight continues thanks to the women of Iran. It continues, whatever the newspapers say.
I got to know Maryam Rajavi and her fellow fighters better, whom I see in the room and whom I greet. I discovered these women, who are leading the movement with unfailing efficiency. I saw men who respect them and are under their orders. They wear the scarf, and I do not. And then? A good deal! We are free. We are free with our bodies and to wear what we want as we want. Stop the looks! Stop the male dictate!
Maryam Rajavi, an ever-smiling but unyielding woman, calls on her brothers and sisters in Iran to rise up. She has dedicated her life to her people. A woman whom the mullahs have wanted to assassinate several times, but who tirelessly continues to advance. For so many years she has been demanding freedom for her people and for women. The freedom for Iranian women to choose their place of residence, their professions, their studies. The freedom to choose their husbands, their clothes, to divorce, to get custody of their children.
It is impossible to break the inequality without a profound change. The most competent women must be entrusted with leadership positions without any fear. I tell you, Maryam Rajavi, President-elect… This is what the National Council of Resistance of Iran has done, but by putting her in charge, by putting the most competent women in the leadership positions of the movement. And the men present, I was told, helped with all their might to set up this new hierarchy system.
A macho and paternalistic world kept Iranian women under the yoke. Women, at last, have become aware of their capabilities. Like the women of the NCRI, they want to get rid of obsolete and backward values in Iran. Thanks to them, the revolution is now underway. Nothing and nobody will stop it! Neither shah nor mullah!
Let us accompany our Iranian sisters towards democracy, they will decide to choose. Long live a liberated Iran, long live the Iranian women!