Iran – a country with 5 millennia of history and culture and a cognisant, educated population. Alas, ever since the radical fundamentalist mullah dictatorship came into power, women in Iran have been deprived of all rights. Nevertheless, true to the cherished, highly civilised ways of the past, Iranian women have never surrendered to the rule of the religious despots, but instead have always firmly stood up for their rights. Although their protests have been violently put down time and again, they have never given up. As a result, many of them have been arrested, tortured and even executed over the years.
In response to the intensified protests witnessed in 2019, the mullah regime increased its repressive measures and in August 2021 installed Ebrahim Raisi as president, a man who was one of the main perpetrators of the massacre of 30,000 imprisoned human rights activists in 1988. The aim: to use him as a catalyst for the spread of fear and terror throughout the populace and to suppress protests in which courageous Iranian women play a crucial role, many of whom are now imprisoned and in danger of execution.
Verein Welle, an association dedicated to defending human rights, strives to be the surrogate voice of these courageous women and mothers. The countless human rights campaigns, international legal campaigns and public relations work of Verein Welle are all targeted at effecting the speedy release of these arbitrarily imprisoned captives. And each success in this regard means hope for the entire Iranian population, but especially for women.
Mariam Akbari Monfared, human rights activist and mother of three daughters, has been in prison for 12 years for a complaint she wrote to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) concerning the execution of her sister and two of her brothers during the 1988 massacre of 30,000 Iranian prisoners.
Soheila Hejab, a lawyer, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for forming a group to defend women’s rights. From prison she reported that regime agents had attacked and battered her on the street without reason or explanation, dragged her by the hair across the asphalt, continued to insult and beat her until she had a bloody face, and then threw her into Gharchak prison.
Saba Kurd Afshari, who is only 22 years old and was arrested for protesting against women’s obligation to cover their faces, is behind bars in Ghorchak prison, where she is being subjected to severe physical and psychological torture. Her mother, Rahele Ahmadi, was taken into custody when she tried to save her daughter from arrest and is now also in prison. Saba has been denied any contact with her mother and continues to protest against the savage intimidation of her family members as well as other political prisoners.
For our campaign aimed at securing the release of these freedom-loving women, we need your support and financial help!
Under the mullah regime in Iran, women have no value and no rights. For example: by law, it takes the word of two women to count as much as that of one man; moreover, a man can divorce his wife without justification, but a woman has no such right. Women do not have the right to choose their clothing, education, occupation and frequently even their husband, especially in poorer parts of the country. Girls are condemned from an early age to a life of oppression and coercion.
However, this is just the fundamentalist regime’s view of women. The Iranian people themselves – especially the youth – demand equal rights for women and stand up for their freedom. Despite facing the threat of execution, they express their opinions, demonstrate and write commentaries. At many protest demonstrations, women are in the forefront.
Thousands of women have been executed since the radical fundamentalist mullahs established their dictatorship in Iran. Utterly blind to international conventions, the Iranian regime has committed crimes against humanity through the mass execution of individuals for no other reason than their beliefs. People in Iran have to pay for freedom with their lives.
In November 2019, nationwide civil protests against the mullah dictatorship took place in Iran. The regime responded to these peaceful demonstrations through the use of force, which resulted in a massacre. Hundreds of women were among the killed and wounded.
The staggering number of executions of women in Iran is unmatched by any other country. Under the laws of the fundamentalist mullah dictatorship, even girls as young as 9 can be sentenced to death.
The history of Iranian women’s resistance in their quest to achieve equal rights goes back more than 100 years – a long, hard road marked by several dictatorships that denied women any rights whatsoever. As bad as it was in earlier years, this discrimination reached its peak when the religious dictatorship wrested power in February 1979 following the overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
The following is a brief chronology of the repressive measures against Iranian women, especially those imposed just a few weeks after the dictatorship came to power. This is just a small sample of the daily repression women face at the hands of the mullah regime.
- 26 February 1979: Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa abolishes the Family Support Law, which had been adopted during the Shah’s reign and granted women minor rights.
- 28.02.1979: Discriminatory laws against women in sport are enacted and all competitions by women are gradually abolished.
- 02.03.1979: Women are excluded from the judiciary, thereby preventing hundreds of female acting or aspiring judges from practising their profession.
- 04.03.1979: Men are permitted to file for divorce at any time and without providing grounds.
- 07.03.1979: Mandate that all women wear the chador in public facilities; “Either a head covering or a blow to the head” was the Khomeini regime’s slogan.
- 1979: The constitutional amendment that women may not hold the office of President.
- 29.05.1979: For the first time, a woman is subjected to public flogging.
- 03.02.1980: Government decree that female nurses and doctors are compelled to wear the chador.
- 19.04.1980: Female singers are summoned to court and banned forever from singing.
- 29.06.1980: Two women in the city of Kerman are condemned to stoning for the first time.
- 1983: Article 2.1 of the Civil Code stipulates that woman who do not comply with the mandate to wear the chador in public are punishable with 74 lashes.
- Courageous Iranian women, for no other reason than demanding their basic rights, are arrested and tortured every day. So far, 114 women have been executed in the time since Hassan Rouhani and Ebrahim Raisi came to power in Iran.