Iran: Activist Narges Mohammadi Jailed for 11 Years

Publication Date: 
September 28, 2011
The Guardian
Iranian peace activist Narges Mohammadi at her home in Tehran in 2001. Photograph: Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images

A prominent Iranian activist who was taken seriously ill after being detained by the authorities has been sentenced to 11 years in jail.

Narges Mohammadi, 39, the deputy head of 's Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC), a rights organisation presided over by the Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, was picked up last year by security officials who raided her house in middle of the night without a warrant for her arrest.

She was taken to Tehran's Evin prison where she was kept in solitary confinement but was released after a month and taken to hospital.

Iran: Deputy Says Female Defendants Should Not Wear Chador In Court

Publication Date: 
September 21, 2011
Iranian women wearing chadors in Tabriz.

Iranian parliament deputy Laleh Eftekhari has criticized female defendants who appear in court wearing the compulsory chador, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Eftekhari said the "sanctity of the chador would be blemished" if such women wear it, and the sight of women thus attired would have a "negative impact on society."

She added that most "guilty female defendants" do not believe in the full-body Islamic veil and have to be forced to wear one when they appear in court.

Iran: Social Media Gives Women a Voice

Publication Date: 
September 22, 2011
The Guardian
Anonymous Iranian woman describes how she was beaten and raped in a detention centre. The online clip reached over 75,000 views.

Female protesters were beaten, raped and intimidated in a post-election crackdown by the Iranian authorities. Silenced by stigma and fear, these women are now using social media to bear witness to the horror.

A young woman is speaking to the camera, her face obscured to prevent her being identified. Her voice heavy with emotion, and hands gesturing, she describes the rape and torture she endured at the hands of her guards while imprisoned during the post-election crackdown in .

Iran: 500 activists condemn escalation of violence against women

Publication Date: 
July 26, 2011
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
Iranian women protesting. Photo: EA World View

Physical and sexual violence against women in Iran, including violence perpetrated by state security forces, is rapidly increasing.

News releases in official media, which usually censor such topics, have surprisingly reported on incidents of gang rape and assaults against women.

Examples include incidents in the provinces of Isfahan (where 10 women were gang raped by 14 men), Golestan (where a village doctor was raped and assaulted by 4 men and a young girl was murdered by 2 men), and Khorasan.

Gay Rights: A World of Inequality

Publication Date: 
September 15, 2011
The Guardian
Two teenagers are publicly hanged under anti-gay laws in Mashhad, Iran, in 2005. Photograph: PA

Gay people still live in fear in many countries around the world – prejudice, torture and execution are common. Can two new legal and diplomatic campaigns change attitudes?

Last Thursday, , sexual intercourse between two men. The case is considered extreme even by Iranian standards, because while the death penalty is in place for homosexuality, it is usually enforced only when there is a charge of assault or rape alongside it; the accusations in these three cases were of consensual sex.

Iran: Parliament Further Delays Polygamy Bill

Publication Date: 
July 27, 2011
Radio Zamaneh
Iranian Parliament

Parliament has once again delayed consideration of a controversial bill to amend the Family Protection Act, which would give Iranian men the right to multiple marriages without first proving adequate financial resources.

The Khaneh Mellat website cites MP Moussa Ghorbani as saying that the 23rd amendment to the Family Protection Act has been omitted from the parliamentary agenda and will be considered at a later date.

Iranian women call for action on gang-rapes

Publication Date: 
August 1, 2011
Amnesty Livewire

As a human rights worker I am used to hearing shocking stories. However, a recent spate of gang-rapes and sexual assaults in Iran highlights increasing violence against women in a country where women’s rights are already under extreme pressure.

Most disturbing of all is the response of Iranian officials to a series of up to six separate, brutal attacks over the past few months.

One senior official even suggested that some of these crimes could have been avoided if the women targeted had adhered to Iran’s strict dress code, or hijab.

Iran: The life of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani remains in the balance

Publication Date: 
July 8, 2011
Amnesty International
Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani

A year after public attention was cast upon Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s plight, her life appears to remain in the balance.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43-year-old woman from Iran’s Azerbaijani minority, was sentenced in 2006 to be stoned to death for “adultery while married”. She was also sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for her role in her husband’s murder which, according to her lawyer, was reduced to five years’ imprisonment for complicity in the murder. She remains in prison in Tabriz. In a letter sent by the Iranian Embassy in Spain to Amnesty International Spain on 8 July 2011, the Iranian authorities reiterated that she was sentenced to death by stoning and to 10 years’ imprisonment for murder.

Iran: University Student Writes on Violence Against Women - “Invisible Wounds”

Publication Date: 
June 19, 2011
Shadi Reyhani

University of Tehran student Shadi Reyhani writes a piece on the invisible violence against Iranian women.

You know, violence is not always about swollen eyes, broken teeth, and bloody noses. Violence can be the humiliation that comes from a dirty look; when a man looks down upon the fallen collar of a woman’s shirt while she is serving tea or the look of a brother when his sister is laughing out loud at a dinner party. These are looks that are invisible to us.

Iran: Gang rapes cause fear and religious controversy

Publication Date: 
June 15, 2011
Iran: Thousands turned out to protest at officials' response to a gang rape in Khomeinishahr.

Recent reports of gang rapes in Iran are worrying women and raising questions about social values, reports Mohammad Manzarpour of the BBC Persian Service.

In a religiously conservative town near the city of Isfahan, women at a private party were abducted last month and gang raped at knife point.

One week later, a female university student was attacked and raped by unknown assailants on the heavily-guarded campus in Masshad, a holy city.