When Gabriel Attal, the French education minister, went on national television for an interview to mark the start of the new school term, he had a clear message: “I have decided that the abaya can no longer be worn in school”. He elaborated: “When you walk into a classroom, you should not be able to identify the pupils’ religion by looking at them”. An official statement came a few days later confirming the ban on the long, loose dress worn by some Muslim women and girls. The practical effect of the announcement is that any young woman who turns up at the gates of her school wearing an abaya faces being barred from attending class or mixing with her classmates.… Seguir leyendo »
“Dad, my sentence is death”, Mohammad Mehdi Karami informed his father in a phone call from prison last month. Then, last Saturday, the 21-year-old karate champion was executed by the Iranian regime. Karami, an Iranian Kurd, was hanged on the same day as Seyed Mohammad Hosseini, a volunteer children’s coach who was just 20. Both were accused of killing a member of the Basij paramilitary force. In the phone call, the younger Karami reportedly told his father he was tortured into making a false confession. All 16 accused in that case have denied the charges.
Their deaths add to the growing number of young protesters killed since Iranians took to the streets almost four months ago in women-led demonstrations sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.… Seguir leyendo »
Massive anti-regime protests, Iran’s merciless crackdown and its supply of weapons to Russia have left the Islamic Republic more isolated than at any point in decades just as a crisis over its nuclear program is brewing.
The protests rocking the country have posed the most durable and determined threat to the Islamic Republic’s authority since the 2009 Green Movement. Tens of thousands of mostly young people, fronted by women and schoolgirls who reject the compulsory hijab as a symbol of misogyny and broader oppression, have taken to the streets in acts of raw defiance against the regime.
The Iranian government has killed hundreds of people in response, including dozens of children.… Seguir leyendo »
Un indicio de la hipocresía del régimen iraní son los reportes verosímiles de que está haciendo cumplir su código moral supuestamente estricto deteniendo a mujeres y niñas acusadas de abogar por la falta de recato, para luego agredirlas sexualmente.
En un informe devastador sobre la violación de manifestantes por parte de las fuerzas de seguridad, la CNN relataba cómo una mujer de 20 años fue detenida supuestamente por encabezar protestas y más tarde fue llevada por la policía a un hospital de Karaj, temblando con violencia, la cabeza rapada y una hemorragia rectal. La mujer se encuentra ahora de nuevo en prisión.… Seguir leyendo »
Las protestas en Irán, que ya van por su tercer mes, son una batalla histórica en la que se enfrentan dos poderosas fuerzas irreconciliables: una población mayoritariamente joven y moderna, orgullosa de su civilización de 2500 años y desesperada por el cambio frente a un régimen envejecido y aislado, decidido a mantener su poder y con 43 años de barbarie a sus espaldas.
El líder supremo de Irán, el ayatolá Alí Jamenei, el único que han conocido muchos de los manifestantes, parece estar enfrentándose a una versión del dilema del dictador: si no le ofrece a su población perspectivas de cambio, las protestas continuarán; pero, si lo hace, se arriesga a parecer débil y envalentonar a los manifestantes.… Seguir leyendo »
The protests in Iran now in their third month are a historic battle pitting two powerful and irreconcilable forces: a predominantly young and modern population, proud of their 2,500-year-old civilization and desperate for change, versus an aging and isolated theocratic regime, committed to preserving its power and steeped in 43 years of brutality.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the only ruler many protesters have known, seems to be facing a version of the dictator’s dilemma: If he doesn’t offer his people the prospect for change the protests will continue, but if he does, he risks appearing weak and emboldening protesters.… Seguir leyendo »
On Sept. 16, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died from injuries allegedly inflicted by Iran’s so-called morality police. Ever since, Iranians across the country—and worldwide—have protested not only her death but also the Iranian regime itself.
In keeping with the Iranian government’s modus operandi, it has instituted nationwide internet shutdowns while simultaneously responding to peaceful protests with lethal force, arbitrary detentions, and other human rights violations. Despite the internet shutdowns, these violations by the state have been widely documented on independent news sites focused on Iran such as IranWire, in foreign and international media such as the Washington Post, and on social media by journalists, activists, and civilians.… Seguir leyendo »
A young woman died in hospital in Iran on September 16th after being detained by the morality police for showing too much of her hair. Mahsa Amini’s death ignited protests in more than 100 cities and street protesters openly declare that the Islamic Republic must go. The people of Iran are tired of theocratic tyranny. The movement’s chant is “Women, Life, Freedom”. But the realisation of this slogan will only be possible under a democratic and secular government.
During the 43 years since the revolution, many Iranian people have lost their lives for opposing the government. The true number killed is not clear as the government never reports such statistics.… Seguir leyendo »
I held my first photo exhibition in late 2017, a few months after returning from Mosul, Iraq, where I had documented the operation to liberate the city from Islamic State. From the first moments of the event, I felt gloomy as my family cast concerned looks at me while the press took pictures of my hair freely protruding from my scarf and clothes – a deliberate rebellion on my part against Iran’s conservative traditions and beliefs.
I suddenly experienced a flashback to all the ways in which I had been oppressed as a woman during my life. When I turned six, they pulled me out of my games with the boys in the neighbourhood.… Seguir leyendo »
On the 40th day after Mahsa Amini died while in the custody of the Iranian regime’s intrusive morality police, protests sparked by her death grew even more widespread, more defiant, more determined
They also added to the moral imperative for the rest of the world to do more.
In Amini’s birthplace of Saqqez, where the 22-year-old also known as Zhina is now buried, thousands of people defied the police and turned out to mark an important day in the mourning process, even as security forces fired live bullets and tear gas to stop them.
Demonstrations also took place in numerous other cities: In Isfahan, women waved black scarves in the air, chanting “Azadi, Azadi!”… Seguir leyendo »
This week, two moments in the tumultuous and violent month-long uprising in Iran caught the international media’s attention with fresh urgency – a fire inside Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, and the whereabouts of an Iranian climber following a competition in South Korea.
Barely had the sound of sirens and gun shots faded from the prison compound when, half a world away in Seoul, the first Iranian woman to win a medal at the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World Championships was reported missing by friends after competing without a hijab.
For many like me among the Iranian diaspora glued to our screens watching events unfold, Elnaz Rekabi seemingly used her international sporting platform to defy the mandatory dress code at the expense of her own career – and safety.… Seguir leyendo »
On Monday, the 18th day of Iran’s intense protests against oppressive clerical rule and its numerous failures, schoolgirls with backpacks and black Converse sneakers joined the revolt. They marched down a street in a suburb of Tehran, the capital, waving their school uniform veils in the air. They jeered a male education official off school grounds in the same suburb, chanting the Persian word for lacking honor: “Bisharaf! Bisharaf!” They blocked traffic in the southern city of Shiraz, waving their head scarves in circles. They tore up images of the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, hurled the fragments in the air and shrieked with passion, “Death to the dictator!”… Seguir leyendo »
Growing up in southern Iran and Southern California, I had the pleasure of having a father who loved to tell stories about his childhood in Iran. Most of his stories were funny, but there was one that always brought him to the brink of tears.
Of course, he never cried; he always changed the subject right at the breaking point. It was the story of his oldest sister, Sedigeh, the smartest sibling in their large family. Because she was a girl, she was married at 16, which was not unusual for Iranian society in the 1930s. Despite her intellectual curiosity, she never had a chance to finish school.… Seguir leyendo »
A new popular uprising is taking place in Iran, and this time women are in the lead. It’s incredibly inspiring to see — for the first time I can remember — unveiled women marching at the front. They have overcome fear and are challenging one of the main pillars of the Islamic Republic of Iran: compulsory hijab.
These women are marching shoulder to shoulder with men, chanting against the whole regime. They are facing guns and bullets and demanding an end to a system of gender apartheid.
Mahsa Amini was only 22 years old. She wasn’t uncovered; only a few strands of her hair showed.… Seguir leyendo »
Woman, life, freedom. These are the words being used repeatedly in Iranian social media posts and carried on banners in the current demonstrations across the country. Three words that may have been a poetic combination in any other context, but not for the women who pay the price of their freedom with their lives. The death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, after being detained by the morality police for her “improper hijab” has sparked widespread anger, leading to the deaths of at least 41 others.
The collective fury pouring out on to the streets is a result of decades of oppression against women in Iran.… Seguir leyendo »
The Iranian regime’s brutal killing of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini — who was reportedly brutally beaten after she was detained for showing too much hair — has triggered nationwide protests, led by the nation’s granddaughters against the grandfathers who have ruled their country for over four decades.
It’s premature to assess whether these protests will meaningfully change Iran’s politics, or whether they are simply another crack in the edifice of a rotting regime whose lone source of diversity is whether the beards and turbans of its ruling men are black or white. Yet one conclusion can already be drawn: Amini’s killing, and Iranian society’s response to it, should permanently alter how the outside world interacts with Iranian officials.… Seguir leyendo »
Mahsa Amini is dead because she let the world see a few locks of her hair. She was 22-years-old, beautiful, and full of hope and promise. She died in the custody of Iran's morality police. She was neither the first, nor will she be the last.
Iranian officials claim she died after suffering a "heart attack" and falling into a coma (she was detained for allegedly breaking rules on wearing the hijab). But Amini's family -- and demonstrators across the country -- aren't buying it. Watching dramatic images of protesters burning their hijabs, cutting their hair and violent confrontations with security forces, shows how little has changed since my own teenage years at the hands of police and Revolutionary Guard brutality.… Seguir leyendo »
The latest round of mass protests in Iran erupted over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman. She died on Sept. 16 at the hands of the so-called morality police for allegedly violating Iran’s rules on mandatory veiling in public.
Amini’s tragic death is yet another reminder of how the Islamist rulers in Tehran remain tone-deaf to the demands of the Iranian people. Opposition to mandatory wearing of the veil, or hijab, is one in a long list of public grievances.
The violence that led to Amini’s death was not accidental. It is part and parcel of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s attitude toward any political dissent.… Seguir leyendo »
La discriminación en el deporte no ha sido una mera anécdota. A pesar de que los valores éticos y humanistas son consustanciales a la práctica deportiva, no han faltado episodios de discriminación hacia jugadores y atletas en estadios y competiciones.
Si bien durante algún tiempo se volvió la mirada hacia otro lado, hoy este tipo de comportamientos se consideran inaceptables. No sólo se debe a una nueva mentalidad de la sociedad. También a que el mundo del deporte se ha ido comprometiendo con el respeto a los derechos humanos.
Las organizaciones deportivas se mostraron inicialmente reacias a admitir la vigencia de los derechos humanos en su ámbito.… Seguir leyendo »
French lawmakers last month voted to ban women and girls from wearing hijab while playing sports -- showing the world once again that when it comes to further politicizing, targeting and policing European Muslim women, our clothing choices and bodies, France is in a league of its own.
The French Senate voted 160 to 143 in favor of the ban on wearing the hijab and other "conspicuous religious symbols" in sports competitions. The amendment was proposed by the right-wing Les Républicains, which argued the hijab could risk the safety of athletes wearing it while playing sports.
You really couldn't make this up.… Seguir leyendo »