Iran unveils new “mal-veiling” plan, deploy 7,000 morality police officers

The Iranian regime announced a new plan to suppress women for “mal-veiling,” deploying approximately 7,000 undercover morality police officers in Tehran this week.

Morality police patrol the streets and report improper wearing of hijab to the Iranian authorities in order to monitor the observance of the Islamic dress code. Their presence has been felt for decades, but many Iranians were surprised and disappointed by their resurgence this week. Tehran’s morality police has seeded distrust and dismay in many Iranian women, and many feel that their presence fuels vigilantes to harass and humiliate women for their dress.

Many Iranians expressed their frustration with the Iranian regime for wasting resources forcing the observance of compulsory hijab and continuing to suppress women’s rights. Farideh Karimi, a human rights activist, condemned Iranian president Hassan Rouhani for not supporting Iranian women by fighting the morality police. “According to the regime’s laws, Rouhani has the authority to halt the new suppressive measures against women. By refusing to do so, he is in practice endorsing them.” She further condemned the regime for using their power to further gender disparity: “The regime’s suppressive institutions are ever more blatantly cracking down on women. This has been a tenet of the mullahs’ regime from its outset.”

Karimi is a member of The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Iran’s largest opposition group. The NCRI’s 10-Point Plan for Iran created by their president-elect, Maryam Rajavi, endorses gender equality, calling for a freedom of dress, marriage, education, and employment, and an abolishment of gender disparity.

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#PledgeforParity: Conference for women’s right solidarity held in Paris

Maryam Rajavi at the Pledge for Parity

(Image Source: NCRI Women’s Committee)

In observance of International Women’s Day, prominent leaders and women’s rights activists met for a conference on Saturday, February 27 to advocate for better social and political treatment for women in Iran and across the world.

While the Iranian regime has been enjoying the spoils of their recent economic deals, the political and cultural landscape for Iranian women is still incredibly poor. The Pledge for Parity conference, led by Maryam Rajavi, sought to bring awareness to the women past and present in Iran that suffer from misogyny, abuse, and dismal political representation. The conference featured speeches from prominent thought leaders like former White House Director of the Office of Public Liaison Linda Chavez, journalist Diana Culi, Spanish politician Beatriz Becerra, and former French Minister of Human Rights Rama Yade.

In her address, Maryam Rajavi stressed that anything that promotes compulsion, denies people’s free choice, and denies women’s equal rights is not truly Islam, but in fact against Islam. “We will not tolerate violation of women’s rights in the guise of religion or any other pretext,” Rajavi stated. Rajavi pledged to support gender equality for Iranian women and reiterated her position against Iran’s draconian laws in her address: “No to compulsory veil, no to compulsory religion, and no to compulsory government.”

Rajavi also spoke of the recent Iran elections, and reiterated that Iran’s very selective election did not truly represent the Iranian people. She stressed that as the regime continues fights its challengers internally, the Iranian people grow restless for political representation. Rajavi argues that the Iranian regime’s attempt to strong-arm their power through suppression of democracy is inadvertently setting up an incredibly unstable Iran. She urged the young people of Iran to “expand their struggle,” and continue to advocate for a true democracy.

Other esteemed speakers took to the podium to advocate for women’s rights in Iran. Linda Chavez stated that the results of the Iranian election did not matter – regardless of the outcome, the situation for women in Iran will not change unless the regime changes. Beatriz Basterrechea described the violations against women in Iran as simply a crime, and believed that it’s completely unacceptable in 2016 for Iran to deny women their civil and individual rights.

Many speakers shared their support for a resolution against gender disparity. In a video interview, British politician Baroness Betty Boothroyd supported Maryam Rajavi’s 10-Point Plan for Women’s Rights in Tomorrow’s Iran, which calls for the abolition of the death penalty, the abolition of mandatory veil, and abolition of sexual exploitation of women. Colombian politician and presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt stated that gender parity is essential of any government regardless of the differences in cultural backgrounds. “Parity is the cornerstone of all freedom, democracy and human rights,” she confirmed.

“We need Mrs. Rajavi to succeed,” Betancourt declared.

The event also included music from the Albanian Orchestra and featured performances by Aida and Gisoo Shakeri. Highlights from the event and a full list of speakers can be found here: http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/ncri-statements/president-elect/19951-iran-maryam-rajavi-addresses-at-paris-conference-on-the-eve-of-international-women-s-day-2016

Activists advocate for better human rights for Iranian women for #InternationalWomensDay2016

Last week, prominent women’s rights advocates from the United Kingdom voiced their concerns for the lack of gender equality and civil protections for women in Iran in an online conference hosted by the NCRI. The advocates condemned the Iranian regime’s poor treatment of women, and called on the UK and the international community to speak up against these injustices.

The online conference, moderated by Ms. Dowlat Nowrouzi, featured three prominent women’s rights advocates: Ms. Linda Lee, former President of the Law Society of England & Wales, Lady Val Corbett, prominent women’s rights activist, and Ms. Margaret Owen OBE, the director of Widows for Peace through Democracy. The advocates discussed Iran’s dismal treatment of women, pointing out the lack of safety women are afforded by the Iranian government and the denial of basic human rights.

“The terrible violence against women and youths in Iran is sickening,” remarked Margaret Owen, adding, “This regime executes juveniles and forces girls at the age of nine into marrying older men. At least 73 juveniles have been executed during the last decade, and according to Amnesty International, 160 are now on death row. Iran has signed up to the conventions on children rights but they do not care.”

The advocates praised Iranian women who object the Iranian regime’s misogyny, and noted the huge potential women have to change Iran, expressing their admiration in particular for Maryam Rajavi and the Iranian Resistance for leading the charge for women’s rights. “The change will come for women,” stated Linda Lee.  Lee urged young women to become more active, and requested that they get involved on social media and “stand with their sisters.”

The conference was broadcast live on the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee last Friday. Read the full story here: http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/women/19918-activists-speak-up-for-women-s-rights-in-iran

Iranian women lose confidence in Rouhani, reformists as elections near

On the heels of Iran’s parliamentary elections, Iranian women are losing hope in the reformist party and current Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, according to a report by Reuters.

Rouhani won the Iranian presidential election in 2013 as a “moderate reformist” who ran on a platform to fix economic and social problems. His supporters had hoped his victory would lead to social change in Iran, but the dial on social freedoms has barely budged in Iran since his election according to rights campaigners, who contest that Rouhani’s presidency has made little progress in regards to political and cultural freedoms.

While Iranian women are among the most educated women in the Middle East, they are poorly represented and poorly protected by the Iranian government. Their legal witness testimony still only counts half as much as a man’s testimony in Iranian courts. Daughters in Iran inherit half as much as sons do. Women have a much harder time divorcing their spouse than men do, and men automatically receive custody of any children in a divorced relationship if the children are older than seven years old.

The lack of movement on these campaign issues have left Iranian women – specifically young Iranian women – feeling helpless. “What will change if I vote?” said a woman who could not win custody of her eight-year-old son after getting divorced in Isfahan. “Can reformist candidates give me equal rights?”

Read the full story on Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-election-women-youth-insight-idUSKCN0VD2FS

Rally organized against Iranian president in France: protestors say #No2Rouhani

Protestors of the Iranian regime will rally against increased Iranian human rights violations under president Hassan Rouhani. Protesters intend to call attention to the number of executions carried out by the Iranian government while Rouhani has served in office.

Hassan Rouhani’s presidency has an abysmal track record when it comes to human rights. Despite Rouhani running on the perception of a moderate platform, Iran still executes more people per capita than any other country in the world, including at least 694 people between January 1 and September 15 of 2015.

Women and young people see some of the harshest human rights violations: Iran is still the worst offender when it comes to juvenile executions, and a law in 2013 made it permissible for men to marry their adoptive daughters – a law Rouhani implemented himself.

Iranians and their allies have already joined together online under the hashtags #No2Rouhani and #StopExecutionsIran. The protest will take place in Trocadero Square in Paris on January 28 – the same day Rouhani also plans to be visiting Paris.

More information can be found here: http://iranfreedom.org/news/1193-iranians-rally-in-paris-to-say-no-to-rouhani

Maryam Rajavi June Gathering 2014

Two Months Until June Gathering in Paris

June Gathering 2015

Only two months remain until the grand gathering of Iranians and supporters of resistance from all over the world, takes place in Paris on June 13.

The 2015 conference, “Regime Change in Iran, We Can and We Must,” will focus on the issues of human and women’s rights, fundamentalism, Camp Liberty and Iran nuclear talks.

Several world leaders and politicians from the United States and many other countries will be speaking at the conference.  Stay tuned for a full list of 2015 conference speakers.

The 2014 Annual Conference for Democratic Change in Iran drew thousands of youth supporters.  Given the large social presence the youth have online today, it easy for social media users to connect and weigh in on the issues that matter to them.  The 2014 Watch the highlights from the 2014 June Gathering, including clips from Maryam Rajavi’s speech:

 

2014 “All for Freedom” conference speakers included:

  • Rudolph Giuliani – Former New York City Mayor
  • Howard Dean – Former Vermont Governor and presidential candidate
  • John Bolton – Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations
  • Joseph Lieberman – Former Connecticut senator and vice presidential candidate
  • Mike Mukasey – Former U.S. Attorney General
  • Hugh Shelton – Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General
  • George Casey – Army Chief of Staff General
  • Newt Gingrich – Former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and the
  • Presidential candidate for 2012 election
  • John Dennis Hastert – Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Robert Torricelli – Former member of the U.S. Senate
  • Robert Joseph – Former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security
  • Phillip J. Crowley – Assistant Secretary of State from 2009 – 2011
  • John McCain – Senior member of the U.S. Senate, Republican Presidential nominee in the 2008 election (provided video message at conference)
NCRI Women's Committee Protest

“Iran’s war on women”

In a recent article published on The Hill by Soona Samsami, representative in the United States for the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Samsami highlights that Iran’s ongoing war on women is being overlooked in the midst of nuclear talks between the U.S. and Iran.  The Iranian regime in Tehran continues its “policy of disenfranchisement and apartheid with respect to women.”

Following the International Women’s Day conference in Berlin earlier this month, where NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi spoke, This week the Iranian regime proposed a draft for a law aimed at boosting the country’s population, according to The Hill.  Amnesty International claimed this law would, “reduce Iranian women to baby-making machines.”  This proposed law would block employment to women at certain jobs if they choose not to have children.

“This past year has seen repression and discrimination against women increase in many forms. The regime continues to maintain policies which encourage or acquiesce towards gender based violence. As many as 25 women were the victims of heinous attacks involving acid thrown onto their faces by men on motorcycles. The attacks were motivated by a culture of misogyny and repression towards women, and a direct result of the ruling regime and its policy of gender apartheid. The attacks occurred after a law was passed by the regimes parliament to protect citizens who feel “compelled to correct” those who do not adhere to their view of Islamic morality. In reality it legitimated gender based violence against women who were wearing makeup or were accused of being “improperly” veiled.”

As women are victims of the mullah’s dictatorship, the PMOI supports gender equality in all aspects.

Read the full article on The Hill.