Statement by Women’s Rights Activists in Protest of the Escalation of Violence Against Women in Iran
Five hundred women’s movement activists and supporters have issued a statement demanding an end to violence on women in Iranian society. The statement, signed by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, protests to the “systematic violence against women,” “constant insults and humiliation,” and “the blaming of victims for acts of sexual violence against them” by government authorities, and defends a woman’s right to choose their clothing. The signatories also ask Iranian judicial and security authorities to be accountable for sexual violence and rape against male and female prisoners inside Iranian prisons.
The signatories, who represent a wide array of women’s rights activists and their supporters, and human rights organizations and individual advocates, make other demands from Friday Imams, judicial and security authorities, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights.
“As women and women’s rights activists, we are protesting against systematic violence, constant insults and humiliation, and the blaming of victims for acts of sexual violence against them by government authorities. We insist on our right to choose our clothing.”
Instead of worrying about controlling women’s style of dress or their hair, we call on all Iranian authorities and responsible institutions, such as the judicial and security forces, to take their responsibilities to ensure the life and security of Iranian citizens seriously who are constantly being subject to threats and violence.”
“We call on the judicial and security authorities in Iran to be accountable with respect to the systematic sexual violence and rape of female and male prisoners being carried out in state prisons. We call on judicial and security authorities as well as all religious leaders who insult women and accuse them of being guilty of provoking sexual assault, to stop these destructive accusations and use their same podiums for expressing apologies.”
“Victims of violence are in urgent need of medical care as well as the emotional and social support of the entire community. They are not responsible for the violence they have suffered. We therefore call on medical and social work professionals as well as the entire citizenry to treat victims of rape with sympathy and to support them in their attempt to return to their normal lives.”
“We ask Mr. Ahmad Shahid, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, to call attention to discrimination and violence against women in Iran and pay his respect to them by arranging meetings with women activists and rape survivors on his visit to the country.”
“As a first step, while protesting the recent escalation of violence against women in Iran, we, as Iranian women, affirm our solidarity with our sisters in the region and the rest of the world and with the global campaigns for ending sexual, physical, gender-based and police violence. In honor of our collective struggle, we put on purple bracelets as a symbol of our voices all over the world and in protest to violence against women.