“The bill on combating violence against women (in Iran) has been drafted from a merely sexual perspective.”
Making this comment on August 24, 2017, legal deputy to the Judiciary, Zabihollah Khoda’ian, expressed his opposition to the adoption of the VAW bill. He justified his view by the fact that 70 out of 100 articles of the bill are “criminalizing”, “setting prison sentences for even the slightest tensions between couples.”
If adopted, the VAW bill is going to be named “provision of security for women against violence”, and it mostly focuses on domestic violence overlooking pervasive violence committed against Iranian womenevery day at the workplace, in the streets and public places, and in prisons by the so-called law enforcement and plainclothes agents, Revolutionary Guards and Bassij, as well as government and private sector employers and employees.
According to Hossein Ashtari, Commander of the State Security Force, an average of 2000 women are forcibly and violently arrested every day across Iran and mistreated and humiliated in detention centers for not fully observing the compulsory veil.
At the same time, hundreds of rights activists are tortured and maltreated in Iranian prisons.
As for domestic violence, Tehran’s forensic officials declared in January 2017, that after road accidents and street fights, the main reason for referring to the Coroner’s Office in Tehran is harassment by husbands. On the average, 52 women refer to the Coroner’s Office every day.
This is only “less than 35 per cent” of the cases of domestic violence which are reported. According to Mohammad Ali Esfanani, spokesman of the legal and judicial committee in the parliament, in December 2014, “out of 180 complaints, 128 are not interested in following up their complaint.”
In 2014, Rouhani’s deputy on women and family affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi revealed that 32 volumes of books containing the outcome of a national research done on domestic violence against women “have been lost” and no copies of them can be found “in the Ministry of Interior or the directorate for women and family affairs.”
There are people who make up cornerstones on which a long history of resistance is built for millions to follow.
There are grim wills that make the enemy fall on its knees and overcome its cruelty and savagery.
There are humans that look on to the horizons, calmly sing the beautiful song of life and then become eternal.
Fatemeh Amini was one such human being.
Fatemeh was born in the city of Mashhad (northeastern Iran) to a religious family who were political and progressive. She, too, started her political activities against the Shah’s dictatorship in 1962 when she was studying at Mashhad University’s School of Literature. Soon, she and her friends founded the Association of Progressive Women.
Fatemeh graduated from university in 1964 and began teaching in girls’ high schools in Mashhad. At the same time, she tried to familiarize them with social and political issues.
In 1970, Fatemeh moved to Tehran where she got to know the newly founded People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI), and after a short period of active involvement, she became a member of the group.
In 1971, the Shah’s secret police (SAVAK) launched a major campaign to discover and clampdown on dissident groups, including the PMOI. A large number of the group members were arrested and imprisoned.
In the very difficult conditions that ensued, Fatemeh secretly but persistently continued her activities. However, she was also arrested in March 1975.
To have an open hand in torturing her, SAVAK had a news published in the daily newspapers indicating that Fatemeh Amini had been found dead after falling from a mountain.
So, Fatemeh was flogged and tortured for days and months until she was paralyzed, but she put up a staunch resistance and did not give any information to SAVAK.
Finally, she was killed under torture on August 16, 1975.
Fatemeh Amini was the first PMOI woman to be killed in struggle, but she did not die as thousands of young women followed her example in the subsequent years.
Women and children’s rights activist, Farzaneh Jalali, has been repeatedly summoned to the Intelligence Department of Kermanshah, western Iran, to be interrogated.
Ms. Jalali’s lawyer, Mostafa Ahmadian said, “The verbal summoning of his client has been illegal and the interrogations have made her upset.”
Ahmadian asserted, “Unfortunately, my client has cooperated (so far), but I have asked her to ignore such calls until she receives written summon or emails based on legal standards.”
“My client is under pressure from many respects and I am not legally allowed to speak about them,” Ahmadian added.
Mostafa Ahmadian also declared that his client’s case has been declared inaccessible which is illegal and for this reason, he is not informed of the content of the case and the reasons based on which Ms. Jalali has been charged with “action against national security.”
Farzaneh Jalali is a women’s rights activist from Kermanshah. For her activities, she was deprived of college education. On February 24, 2017, she was arrested by security forces and taken to the detention center at Naft Square of Kermanshah. On March 13, 2017, she was released from prison on a heavy bail of 300 million toumans.
Ms. Jalali is a graduate of social anthropology from Tehran University, a former member of the students’ Islamic Association, and former editor of the university’s Sobh Daily. Despite the fact that she had passed the graduate school’s admission test with the sixth highest scores in 2010, she was deprived of continuing her education due to her student activities.
Over the past years, she has been active with regards to women and children’s rights. She was active in gaining support for the students burned in the fire incident at a girls’ school in Shinabad Village, West Azerbaijan Province. She has also written and published a number of articles in defense of women’s rights and violations of their rights.
Washington DC, Center for Security Policy, Aug. 23, 2017 – The Center for Security Policy today published an extraordinarily topical and timely Occasional Paper concerning one of the nation’s most pressing national security questions: Can the United States in good faith certify that Iran is complying with the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) when the next deadline is reached in October 2017 and, if so, should it?
This analysis, entitled “Why President Trump Must Not Re-certify Iranian JCPOA Compliance,” was written by the Center’s Vice President for Research and Analysis, Clare Lopez. It lays out the factual basis for concluding that Mr. Trump neither can nor should provide such a certification since Tehran is explicitly and demonstrably in material breach of the JCPOA on multiple specific counts.
This conclusion is particularly compelling given the unrelentingly jihadist nature of the Iranian regime, which codified in its 1989 constitution the Islamic Republic’s explicit dedication to global Islamic conquest. In addition, the mullah-led government in Tehran’s faithfully follows that totalitarian doctrine’s dictates to deceive non-Muslims – a reality evident in Iran’s long record of violations of the provisions of other international accords and treaties to which it is a signatory. Notably, Iran was caught in 2002 for having violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty when its clandestine nuclear weapons program was revealed to the world for the first time.
Since then, many more revelations about the Iranian nuclear weapons program have come to light. For example, the International Atomic Energy Agency itself has documented a long list of Possible Military Dimensions to the Iranian nuclear program that seems to confirm the validity of its assessment that Iran had an advanced nuclear weapons program – and possibly even nuclear warheads – by November 2011. Additionally, what amounts to a joint venture between Iran and North Korea with respect to nuclear weapon and ballistic missile development prompts grave concerns with regard to the sharing expertise on warhead miniaturization and Electromagnetic Pulse technology.
In releasing Ms. Lopez’s paper, Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney observed:
Clare Lopez is a veteran of the CIA’s clandestine service with deep knowledge of the lengths to which the Iranian regime has gone to pursue its nuclear ambitions – and mislead the United States and others about the actual status of its weapons, missile and centrifuge development programs. Her insights into this behavior make clear that those programs are not just deeply problematic from a national security perspective. They amount to showstoppers with regard to any further presidential certifications, especially with respect to the JCPOA being consistent with the national security interests of the United States.
Within the world of the theocratic regime that rules Iran, the role of women is primarily relegated to the home. Women have limited to no access to the public and political spheres. Those who try to achieve more for themselves find that they are now putting themselves directly in opposition to the regime of the mullahs.
One such instance is the case of Safieh Gharebaghi, a civil rights activist and female rights activist was summoned to the Zanjan Pubic and Revolutionary Court on August 6. At that point, she was charged with “spreading propaganda against the government”, “disrupting public opinion”, “publishing lies and spreading rumors”, and “supporting the sedition”. Although she is out on bail now, her case is still waiting to be tried.
She is just one activist among hundreds that are being targeted by the regime, because the ideas they spread are contrary to the key tenets of the fundamentalism proscribed by the mullahs.
Part of the control that the regime attempts to exert involves morality patrols and specific police meant to address how women look, act, and spend time with in a public setting.
Recently, the Prosecutor of Qom said that a special female (Islamic Guidance) patrol team was allocated to inspect women’s public centers.
“The Special Qom Presecutor Patrol Team, with the management of female judges, will inspect women’s centers, including studios, swimming pools, women’s gyms, and beauty salons,” said Mehdi Kaheh. “This team has so far inspected more than 45 beauty salons and 10 swimming pools and has given each place legal notices regarding their offenses with a timeframe. If they do not amend the mentioned affairs, they will be legally and judicially dealt with.”
Keep in mind that these are not health and safety infractions, but infringe on the basic freedoms of choice that all individuals deserve. But at the same time, while resources are being put to controlling the movements of women, social challenges are impacting women negatively.
For example, in Tehran, 700 women were found among the homeless population, which numbers over 15,000. Additionally, women who have limited opportunities for employment are being left as the sole guardians of their families. This puts them in the position of trying to take care of their families with poverty as a constant threat.
All of these issues are impacting women and their lack of a political voice is making the social constraints even worse. What the opposition offers to the Iranian people is a gender equality and a restoration of basic human rights and freedoms. Regime change is the only way to restore the rights of women within this country, setting a model for the rest of the region.