There are literally hundreds of Iranian women in jail today for crimes which are 100% political. In the notorious Evin jail alone, there are over 200 female political prisoners. These women aren’t hardened criminals, murderers, arsonists, thieves etc…They are in jail for one reason and one reason only: they have stood up to the patriarchal theocratic regime in Tehran and have tried to change the state of oppression that they, as women in Iran, are living under. They are prisoners of conscience who might, in most cases, have been living quietly and comfortably at home if they had only accepted their fates. Instead, they hit the streets to protest, posted content critical of the regime on social media, called on Iranians to become a part of the change necessary to free Iran from its hardened Islamic Revolutionary ideals and move to an equalitarian society in which women are not treated like a minority.
These women’s voices have been shut by the regime for crimes such as “propaganda against the state”, “assembly and collusion”, “acting against national security”, “insulting the sacred”, “insulting the Supreme Leader”, “blasphemy”, “spreading corruption on earth” etc…. Underneath these labels are hiding other “crimes” such as being Baha’i or Sunni. These crimes have one thing in common: criticism against the regime. In Western countries, these “crimes” would not warrant even an arrest but in Iran, . These charges can lead to many years in prison or even execution. While in jail, many of these women have been flogged, tortured and raped while their families have been harassed.
There is something basically wrong when a state feels so threatened by criticism of any kind that it has to jail or execute the voices of criticism. This pattern is a sign of the basic weakness of the regime itself since a regime which really represented its citizens would be open to criticism and calls for change. Iran makes a big deal about the fact that it is a democracy in that it holds elections to choose its president, its parliament and its Assembly of Experts but experience has shown the Iranian people can only vote for candidates that have been approved by the Guardian Council which can disqualify candidates based on political criteria. Over 90% of the female candidates running in the elections for parliament were disqualified and even those who did get in were taunted by hardline MP’s who likened them to “donkeys”.
President Hassan Rouhani was elected in 2013 on a ticket for change. He first focused his attention on Iran’s foreign policy and this lead to the signing of the JCPoA which effectively brought Iran out of its isolation. He then focused on increasing the power of moderates and reformists in parliament and in the Assembly of Experts. It’s now time to focus on human rights and to begin, first and foremost, with women who will then be able to vote for him in the next presidential elections.
Pictured here are 24 of these women. They are artists, journalists, activists, unionists, lawyers and lawyers. They are daughters, mothers, wives and sisters. They deserve to be known and released. The first step is to know who they are and to read their names and click on the links.
The second step is to sign at least one of these petitions:
- Petition to stop torture & executions in Iran: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/BE_Their_Voice_STOP_Torture_Execution_in_Iran/?pv=11
- Petition for women’s rights in Iran: https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/women-s-rights-in-iran.html?amp;q.sl=5&q.id=3bep5dzu8qkh9w7r&q.sl=5
- Petition for more rights for women in Iran: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/517/502/864/women-in-iran-need-more-rights/
- Petition to allow women into sports stadiums: https://www.change.org/p/everyone-support-iranian-women-attend-stadium-sporting-events
- Petition to stop rape in Iranian prisons: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/965/368/174/stop-rape-in-iranian-prisons/
- Petition to free Bahareh Hedayat: https://www.change.org/p/my-wife-is-imprisoned-in-iran-demand-her-release
- Petition to free Atena Farghadani: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/532/160/304/
Thank you and God bless you.