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Quest for justice in great prison called Iran

Forty years ago about this time, Iranians came to the streets and forced the Shah to release the throne, never knowing what was to follow, would have been even worse. The people of Iran, tired of the Shah’s secret police, not having political freedom and suffering economically, chanted in unison, “Down with the Shah.” Fortune smiled on the people of Iran when the first daily newspaper published a slogan announcing, “Shah left.”

Khomeini took advantage of the atmosphere and feelings of the people and thus instated his tyranny, based on misogyny, religious fundamentalism and warmongering. Since 1979 to date, all that Iranians have tasted has been fear, repression, pain, inequality, torture and execution, and indeed, the first victims, have been women.

Among the great achievements of the Iranian regime was turning Iran into a world record holder of executions per capita. Over 3,600 executions have been carried out by the regime only during the five years of Rouhani in office. Nevertheless, the actual figures are definitely higher, as most executions in Iran are carried out secretly without anyone knowing except those who carry it out.

Just last week the 87th woman was executed under Rouhani’s tenure. She had been imprisoned for six years on death row on the charge of deliberate murder and because under the rule of the mullahs’, Iran, the only country in the world that frequently sends women and minors to the gallows, she obviously had no chance escape the gallows.

The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has recently published a study entitled, Women in Pursuit of Justice, on the arbitrary trends and illegal proceedings victimizing female political prisoners in Iran. The study aims to shed light on the systematic violations of women’s human rights in Iran in the process of arrest and imprisonment because what is actually carried out in prisons against women political prisoners and prisoners of conscience under the mullahs’ regime is not compliant with international laws and standards.

Iran is a country where women are not only imprisoned for murder, robbery and social crimes, but for demanding freedom, having different beliefs, drawing cartoons, writing a story against stoning or the death penalty, participating in peaceful protests, protesting against poverty and even for defending children’s rights.

Iran’s valiant women started their fight against the tyrannical mullahs in 1979 right after they seized power, enduring great suffering and making great sacrifices during the mass arrests and executions which began in 1981.

They have a brilliant record with thousands of women who gave their lives for Iran’s freedom. However, they have never given up on freedom for Iran until today.

On February 8, 2019, freedom-loving Iranian across Europe and North America, including women’s associations and women’s rights defenders will be coming to Paris to participate in a rally for freedom and democracy in Iran. They will send a strong message to the people of Iran, particularly to the women, telling them that we stand by you in your will for regime change. They will call for an end to the death penalty and a stop to executions in Iran. They will urge the European governments to stand by this call and support them after decades of pain and suffering.

The women of Iran are resolved to turn the page of their country’s history in the 21st century and they deserve the support of all freedom-loving people of the world.

Elham Zanjani

Elham Zanjani is a member of the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

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