Age: 57 |
Birth City: آبادان |
Joined on October 02, 2012
By the late 1970s, miniskirts, shorts, tight jeans and bikinis became highly fashionable for women. It was a bit much for a predominantly Muslim and traditional nation. Young women and girls often flaunted their bodies in public to tease and provoke men. This may have been proper behavior for the Lebanese Christians but not for us Iranians. As a result, women were sometimes sexually harassed or assaulted in public. For instance, an attractive young woman wearing a miniskirt was raped at a vegetable market in broad daylight in central Tehran. Yet, safety wasn't the main concern for women.
It was very trendy to completely mimic the Western look and manners without having the mindset. Tehran's department stores and boutiques carried the latest European fashion lines and makeup. Iranian magazines often featured young women in slutty outfits and suggestive poses. Also, women were depicted as seductive and frivolous sex objects in film. The State TV even aired sexually explicit European series such as Tales from the village 'Dastanhaye Dehkadeh'. This issue may have contributed tho the collapse of the regime in the late '70s >>> Photos
The organization has confirmed that two women’s rights defenders, Yasmin Aryani and Monireh Arabshahi, have been detained in the past week and that a third activist, Vida Movahedi, who has been detained since October 2018, was sentenced to one year in prison last month for peacefully protesting against forced veiling.
Iran’s intelligence and security bodies have also subjected several other women’s rights defenders to threatening telephone calls, warning them that they will be arrested if they continue to campaign against forced veiling. Some have been summoned for questioning and fear imminent arrest.
“Iran’s authorities appear to be lashing out in response to the increased defiance displayed by Iranian women and the growing peaceful popular movement against forced veiling laws in a bid to intimidate them into silence and submission,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.
“The criminalization of women and girls for not wearing the veil is an extreme form of gender-based discrimination and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment that deeply damages women’s dignity. Instead of persecuting and jailing women who are standing up to this outrageous injustice Iran’s authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all women’s rights defenders detained for their peaceful activism.”
On 10 April, women's rights defender Yasmin Aryani was arrested by security forces at her family home in Tehran and taken to an unknown location.
Yasmin Aryani’s mother, Monireh Arabshahi, was arrested the next day after she went to the Vozara detention centre in Tehran to enquire about her daughter’s whereabouts.
Amnesty International received information indicating that both women were arrested in relation to a video that went viral on International Women’s Day, in which Yasmin, Monireh and several other women’s rights defenders can be seen without their headscarves, distributing flowers to female passengers on a metro train in Tehran and discussing their hopes for women’s rights in Iran. In the video, Monireh Arabshahi says she hopes “the day will come when women are not forced to struggle” for their rights and Yasmin Aryani hands a flower to a woman wearing a hijab and says she hopes that one day they can walk side by side in the street “me without the hijab and you with the hijab”.
Both Yasmin Aryani and Monireh Arabshahi are believed to be facing charges that include “spreading propaganda against the system” and “inciting corruption and prostitution” in connection with this video.
Yasmin Aryani’s family did not hear from her until 15 April when she was allowed to make one brief telephone call. The authorities have so far refused to reveal her exact whereabouts, saying only that she is being detained in a “security” detention centre.
Monireh Arabshahi is being detained in Shahr-e Rey prison (also known as Gharchak) along with several hundred other women, in extremely overcrowded and unhygienic conditions, without access to safe drinking water, adequate food or medicine and fresh air.
On 14 April, the lawyer of another women’s rights defender, Vida Movahedi announced that she had been sentenced to one year in prison in March 2019 for her peaceful protests against forced veiling. She has been detained since 29 October 2018, when she staged a solo protest by standing, without a hijab, on top of a large dome structure in the middle of Tehran’s Enghelab (Revolution) Square and waving coloured balloons in her hands.
Vida Movahedi became known as the first “Girl of Revolution Street” after her first such protest in December 2017 when she climbed up onto a utility box on Enghelab (Revolution) Street, removed her headscarf and waved it like a flag on the end of a stick. This peaceful act resulted in her arrest and subsequent release on bail before her re-arrest in October 2018. Her peaceful act of resistance has since inspired women across the country to hold similar acts of protest in public against forced veiling laws.
According to her lawyer, Vida Movahedi is eligible for conditional release but her request has not yet been processed by the office for the implementation of sentences. She was also among several prisoners granted a pardon by the Supreme Leader to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution in February but prison authorities have refused to implement the pardon and release her.
Prominent Iranian journalist and women’s rights defender Masih Alinejad, based in the USA, who has run a series of high-profile online campaigns against forced veiling, told Amnesty International that in recent weeks her 70-year-old mother was summoned for questioning by the authorities about her communications with her. Both Masih Alinejad’s mother and elderly father were interrogated for more than an hour.
Last month, in a particularly shocking case, prominent human rights lawyer and women’s rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh was sentenced to 33 years and six months in prison and 148 lashes after being convicted of seven charges - some of which stemmed from her work representing women arrested for protesting against forced veiling laws. She has to serve at least 12 years of this sentence in prison as per Article 134 of the penal code, which stipulates that, when individuals are convicted on three or more charges, they shall serve the lengthiest single sentence imposed for the most serious charge. Nasrin Sotoudeh was also convicted and sentenced to five years in prison in a separate case in 2016, which she must serve in full.
In January 2019, Nasrin Sotoudeh’s husband Reza Khandan and human rights defender Farhad Meysami were each convicted and sentenced to six years in prison in relation to their support of the campaign against forced veiling.
“Iran’s forced veiling laws are a blatant breach of Iranian women’s rights to freedom of expression, belief and religion. The Iranian authorities must immediately repeal these discriminatory laws and abolish the degrading bans on women’s appearance in public without the hijab,” said Magdalena Mughrabi.
“The international community - including the EU which has an ongoing human rights dialogue with Iran - has a key role to play in publicly voicing their support for women’s rights defenders and using all channels of communication to press the Iranian authorities to end compulsory veiling immediately.”
In 2016, Melbourne-based photographer Sarah Pannell spent a month couch surfing her way across Iran. Travelling from the capital, Tehran, north to Qazvin and west to Tabriz, south to Isfahan and Shiraz, and then east to Kerman and Yazd, Pannell stayed with a total of 15 families who welcomed her into their homes. “I wanted to investigate the deeply positive things that I had heard about hospitality in Iran – as a foreigner being welcomed in, and, whether that was true or not,” explained Pannell, when BJP-online interviewed her in light of her new photo book, Tabriz to Shiraz, which launches with an exhibition at Hillvale Gallery in Melbourne.
The level of hospitality that Pannell experienced was unlike anything she had before and allowed her to experience the country in a very different way than if she had been exploring alone. Rather than producing a simple travelogue taken purely from an outside and subjective perspective, Pannell was able to go deeper. Her observations were led by the friends that she made; the resulting pictures reflect that experience. “It is a very personal body of work,” she continues, “it is as much a reflection of myself as it is a reflection of them”. From an assortment of parks and cafes to the varied interiors of peoples’ homes, Pannell’s images frame what could be mundane, everyday scenes and spaces in unusual and unexpected ways.
Pannell first became interested in Iran while studying International Relations, with a major in Middle Eastern History and Politics, at university. “There was one particular class where I had to do an assignment on the Iranian revolution,” she remembers, “that was about 10 to 12 years ago now. I have remained interested in the region ever since.” A few years later, while studying photojournalism in the US, Pannell met a group of people from Iran. Hearing about the challenging decisions they had made to move away from their families, rekindled her interest in the region.
“It is such a complex place that people will, of course, tell you not to go there – especially a decade ago,” says Pannell. This, however, proved a motivating factor for Pannell’s trip. In the West, many people’s perceptions of Iran remain coloured by the events of 1979, and the instability and unrest that followed. The 1979 Iranian revolution (of which it is the 40th anniversary this year), driven by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, toppled the US-backed leadership of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. Khomeini established an Islamic republic and worked to eliminate the westernisation of the country permitted by his predecessors >>>
by Forough Alaei
The Guardian: For nearly 40 years, Iranian women have been banned from watching stadium football matches. The photographer Forough Alaei, a World Press Photo winner in the sports category for her Crying for Freedom series, describes following the story of Zeinab, one of the first women to disguise herself as a man to watch matches
It takes Zeinab about 15 hours to travel from Ahvaz to Tehran by train to watch Persepolis, her favourite football club. Since the Islamic revolution of 1979, women have been banned from attending stadium football matches. Despite the ban, female football fans have never given up and have tried different methods to enter stadiums, including disguising themselves as men >>> Photos