Archiv der Kategorie: Women

Intelligence Ministry Seeking “Maximum Punishment” for Prominent Human Rights Activist

Narges Mohammadi Awaits Trial in Prison

 The Intelligence Ministry has made a written request to impose the maximum punishment on human rights activist Narges Mohammadi, her husband Taghi Rahmani told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

“Recently Ms. Mohammadi’s case file has included a letter from the Intelligence Ministry which recommends that the judge give her the maximum punishment. But this letter is against the law and undermines the independence of the Judiciary as well as the judge presiding over Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court,” Rahmani stated.

The latest charges against Mohammadi, who is the spokesperson for the now-banned Defenders of Human Rights Center, include “assembly and collusion against national security,” “propaganda against the state,” and “membership in the Step by Step to Stop Death Penalty” group, which is regarded as an illegal and anti-state group.

Since her controversial meeting with the European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Tehran in March 2014, Mohammadi has received ten summonses and warnings and has been questioned by security authorities several times.

Taghi Rahmani told the Campaign that his wife’s trial was due to start on July 5 but for unknown reasons she was not transferred from Evin Prison and did not appear. The judge postponed the trial but no new date has been announced. Mohammadi’s trial was originally set for May 3 but her lawyer had requested more time to prepare.

Mohammadi wrote a letter from prison addressed to Tehran’s chief prosecutor. In the letter, published in on July 6, Mohammadi criticized the authorities for not allowing her to speak to her children on the phone.

“Is it against the country’s judicial regulations to let a mother or father hear her or his child’s voice for a few minutes, a couple of times a week? If not, why is this unfair practice going on? Does a mother’s contact with her child threaten national security? Or do you just want to further punish women who criticize?” the letter asked.

Mohammadi’s family have been told that her latest detention on May 5 is to enforce the six-year prison sentence imposed on her in 2012. At the time she was held in Zanjan Prison, but because of serious medical issues she was released on 600 million tomans (US $200,000) bail.

Two hundred and fifty human rights and women’s rights activists and journalists signed a statement on May 6, demanding the release of Narges Mohammadi.

Mohammadi’s husband has asked Iran’s Minister of Intelligence to help launch an investigation into her case, as well as the cases of other individuals prosecuted in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 presidential election and who are still in prison, such as Abdolfattah Soltani and Mohammad Seifzadeh.

Source: Inline image 1

Iran| Women on the Front Line

From Sharia law to Women’s rights. How have women managed to fight back in the heart of a bitterly theocratic state? Who are these women? What are their stories? Women on the Front Line tries to answer these questions by talking to women’s rights activists who have been in the thick of struggle for gender equality in Iran. The film, the first of its kind, is the brainchild of Sheema Kalbasi, the Iranian poet and human rights activist. Written by Sheema Kalbasi and Hossein Fazeli and directed by Hossein Fazeli, the film combines on-camera interviews with theatrical segments to arrive at a subjective take on the struggle of women’s rights activists in Iran.

New Report Shows Acid Attacks Against Women in Iran Fuelled by State Policies

Promotion of Virtue Legislation Calls for Citizen Enforcement of Women’s “Proper” Hijab

March 6, 2015—The Iranian Parliament should immediately withdraw the pending Plan to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice, which explicitly calls for Basij militias to enforce strict hijab (female dress), the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. This plan not only violates the rights of all Iranian women, it also presents a clear and present danger to their continued safety.

Further, the Iranian Judiciary should bring all efforts to bear to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of the recent string of acid attacks against women in Iran, which have been linked to the extra-judicial enforcement of hijab called for in the Plan, the Campaign added.

The acid attacks, which began in late 2014 in the Iranian city of Isfahan, involved unidentified men flinging acid into the faces of women with whom they had no history of personal grudges. At least fourteen attacks have been reported, and eyewitnesses have reported that the assailants proclaimed they were defending hijab during the assaults. No one has been charged in any of the attacks.

“Unless state officials make it clear that any citizen who takes it upon himself to enforce female dress codes is acting illegally and will be punished to the full extent of the law, we can expect more of these horrific attacks,” said Hadi Ghaemi, Executive Director of the Campaign.

In a Briefing Paper released today on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Vigilante Violence: The Acid Attacks in Iran and the State’s Assault on Women’s Rights, the Campaign details the Parliamentary legislation, state policies, and public pronouncements by state officials and high-level clerics that have created a climate conducive to violence against women, and, specifically, fertile ground for the acid attacks in Iran.

Download PDF of full report here

The Briefing Paper covers:

  • Pending Parliamentary legislation, especially the Plan to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice, which mandates enforcement of proper hijab and other acts of “virtue” by the Basij militia.
  • Detailed analysis of the activities of the principal vigilante group, Ansar-e Hezbollah, which has propelled forward the Promotion of Virtue legislation and its enforcement by the Basij.
  • Excerpts from interviews conducted by Iranian news agencies, before media coverage was suppressed by the state, with victims of the acid attacks and family members of victims.
  • Public pronouncements by state officials and high-level clerics that have called for the active, public enforcement of ultraconservative notions of female behavior and dress.
  • Other state initiatives that have sought to curtail women’s rights in such areas as education, employment, reproductive health care, and participation in the public sphere.
  • Recommendations to the authorities in Iran aimed at preventing further violence against women.

“The call for extra-judicial enforcement of ‘virtue’ puts every woman in Iran at risk of violent assaults,” said Ghaemi. “This is not only an egregious violation of Iranian and international law, it is a direct threat to the lives of Iranian women.”

“In addition to the corrective actions required by state officials in Iran, the international community must make clear to the Islamic Republic that if it is to achieve the full international rehabilitation and reintegration it seeks, these violations of the rights and safety of Iranian women must immediately cease,” added Gissou Nia, deputy director of the Campaign.


The Perils of Drinking Coffee ‘Provocatively’

According to Article 638 of Iran’s 1996 Islamic Penal Code, “women who appear in the street and public places without the Islamic hejab will serve time, between ten days and two months, and will have to pay a cash fine”.

The law, however, does not define the exact parameters surrounding the “Islamic hejab,” leaving that crucial judgment up to the police and the paramilitary Basij force. This leaves a gap open for security forces to exploit, despite the fact that morally the hejab is something that cannot be enforced by law or through coercion.

Through my work as a lawyer I have paid numerous visits to the Ershad Judicial Complex, which is responsible for fighting so-called “social corruption.” I have witnessed many abuses of power, and also things that are simply not quite right.

Take, for instance, the printed form the police and the Basij use as they patrol the streets and shopping centers looking for women they believe are not properly wearing the hejab.

The form has three parts, the first dealing with woman’s hair, and includes checkboxes for ‘completely uncovered head,’ ‘partially uncovered hair,’ ‘styled hair showing’, ‘uncovered neck,’ ‘thin headscarf’ and, oddly, ‘visibility of the breasts.’

The second part applies to the use of make-up: lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, blusher, nail polish on fingers or toes and banned glasses.

The third outlines the various ways a woman’s attire may be grounds for legal action: ‘a tight-fitting manteau,’ ‘a short manteau,’ ‘a manteau with slits showing the body,’ ‘an unconventional manteau,’ ‘stockings with a banned pattern,’ ‘no stockings’ and the ominous ‘other.’

Many of the form’s checkboxes are vague and open to interpretation, such as ‘banned glasses’ and ‘unconventional manteau,’ leaving the individual policeman or the Basiji to make their own judgement on what qualifies what.

The breadth of the form also gives security forces both an incentive and opportunity to constantly scan women in public whose necks are showing or who are wearing lipstick or mascara.

Islam definitely forbids scrutiny being this close. According to the prominent 13th century Shi’a jurist Allamah al-Hilli, a proper Muslim should look at a woman’s hand or face just once and only if necessary. A second look is forbidden. With these forms in hand, policemen and Basijis have an excuse to relentlessly stare at women so that they find ways they are violating the law as far as how they are dressed and how their bodies look.

A second form is dedicated to drivers and passengers. The checklist includes ‘inappropriately dressed’ passengers, ‘passengers with make-up,’ ‘naked body parts,’ ‘tight-fitting dress’ and ‘uncovered hair.’ This form is likely to have more serious consequences than the form dealing with women’s appearance on the street, because it requires the inspection of all moving vehicles to discover whether or not a female driver or any of their passengers are wearing a tight-fitting dress or whether a body part is on show.

In 2009 a young woman came to my law offices and recounted how she had been arrested in a coffee shop as she was drinking coffee with her cousin. They were both taken to the Department for Fighting Moral Corruption. After a few hours she and her cousin were released on bail and the processing of the case was scheduled for several days later.

When I became an attorney I went to the courthouse to review the case. It turned out that they were arrested for drinking coffee “in a provocative manner.”

Fortunately when the court was convened I was able to defend them successfully and they were acquitted from this absurd charge.

Offense Type

  • Completely Uncovered
  • Partially Uncovered
  • Breasts Showing
  • Styled Hair Showing
  • Uncovered Neck
  • Thin Scarf
  • Lipstick
  • Mascara
  • Eye Shadow
  • Face Make-Up
  • Forbidden Glasses
  • No Stockings
  • Thin Stockings
  • Stockings with Forbidden Symbols
  • Short Socks
  • Other
  • Tight-Fitting Manteau
  • Short Manteau
  • Manteau with Body-Showing Slits
  • Unconventional Manteau
  • Manteau with Forbidden Symbols

Source: IranWire

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