Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was hanged in Tehran on Saturday despite an international campaign calling for clemency. (File/AFP)
On Saturday last, a brave Iranian woman, Reyhaneh Jabbari (26), walked to her execution in Tehran despite worldwide protests at her sentencing for the alleged killing of a man she accused of trying to rape her.
Her last letter to her mother would bring tears to the most hardened person. She did not want to have a grave and her mother mourning at the grave. She donated her organs to the needy for transplantation. There was no news from a tightly-controlled Iran as to whether that wish had been carried out.
An Iranian actress has infuriated ultra conservatives in her home country after kissing the president of the Cannes film festival’s on the cheek.
Leila Hatami’s peck has been seen by fanatics as an affront to the ‘chastity’ of the Islamic republic’s women. A photograph carried by Iranian media shows Hatami pecking 83-year-old Gilles Jacob at the opening of this year’s festival.
Now Hizbullah Students, a group of university students with links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard have filed a complaint with Iran’s judiciary for Hatami’s prosecution.
We, the undersigned, who are a group of student Muslim brothers and sisters, ask the cultural and media branch of the judiciary to prosecute Leyla Hatami for her sinful act of kissing a strange man in public, which according to article 638 of Islamic Criminal Justice carries a prison sentence,’ the petition read.
‘Furthermore, the action of this film star has hurt the religious sentiments of the proud and martyrs breeding nation of Iran and as such we also demand the punishment of flogging for her as stipulated in the law.’
YES! Fun, uplifting and momentous for the impact of freedom of expression everywhere. I’m happy it’s gone viral. And then there is the amazing “pass” by the cleric. These young Persians are courageous, creative and yearning to be free. We must support them.
The Obama administration on Wednesday criticized Iran’s election to the U.N.’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) – but neither the U.S. nor any other delegation objected when given the opportunity to do so, thus allowing Iran to get the seat “by acclamation.” More here: U.S. Fails to Object to Iran Seat on U.N. Women’s Commission
Here is a Muslim woman’s place in Iran:
“. . . the hijab—or proper Islamic dress—is still compulsory for women in Iran’s streets and public places and failure to cover accordingly can result in imprisonment or a hefty fine.”
“. . . in today’s Iran divorce is a husband’s unilateral right but if a woman seeks to divorce her husband she must prove he has either abandoned her or is mentally ill, abusive, or a drug addict.”
“ . . . the Islamic Republic’s child custody laws favour the father, inheritance and ownership laws overwhelmingly favor men over women heirs, and since 1979 women have been barred from being judges.”
“ . . . a husband is allowed to kill his wife and her lover if he catches them in the heat of passion, whereas no such exemption from a murder charge exists for a wife should she catch her husband in a similarly compromised position.”
“ . . . convictions and punishments for sex crimes such as adultery are applied disproportionately to women in Iran’s criminal courts.”
“. . . despite the propensity of Iran’s courts to hold women accountable for sex crimes and other moral offenses, when it comes to the evidence that will be used against them to secure such convictions, the testimony of a woman is worth half of that of a man’s.”
Only a few days after a United Nations Special Rapporteurs announcement on the situation of human rights in Iran, a woman was hanged by the Iranian regime in the Lorestan province, as the local media reported.
Even with the seemingly moderate President Hassan Rouhani leading the Islamic Republic of Iran, no action has been taken to address the discriminatory legal and social laws regarding women and young girls. Women are not allowed to exercise some basic civil rights in Iran as well.
To be more specific, some of the laws in the Islamic Republic are totally contradict internationally accepted human rights standards, reinforcing the superiority of men over women.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has issued a religious edict (fatwa) banning online chatting between unrelated men and women, Iranian media reported on Monday, quoting Khamenei’s website: www.khamenei.ir.
The ruling came in response to a question sent to the supreme leader on his Website. His answer was: “Given the immorality that often applies to this, it is not permitted.”
The ruling came days after Iranian authorities blocked WeChat, a popular messaging app that enables smart phone users to access online social networks.
The authorities in Tehran are sensitive to social media and have blocked access to many social networking websites, including Facebook and Twitter, used by activists to stage protests after the 2009 controversial presidential vote.
The harder the mullahs squeeze the Muslim youth to totally segregate, the more energy builds for a real backlash. The pendulum is swinging 180 degrees. What form will the blowback take? I don’t know.
It is natural for young people to want to talk to each other, to flirt and pet each other. If you have a strong ethic of sexual control before marriage (from the male as well as the female, Muslims) and a healthy view of bodily functions, then they shouldn’t worry about the woman losing her virginity and accept the fact that even in the most fundamentalist households, it is not right to kill your wife, kids, your family over sex, one of the basic drivers of humanity’s actions.
I love Iranian films. They are beautiful even when they show the ugliest sides of human nature. They provide a vehicle to transmit to uninformed Westerners what it is like to live in an Islamic society that allows little or no freedom for Muslim women and oppresses them and their children. So, whether they are fiction or documentaries, the films are teaching tools as well as artistic endeavors and make Hollywood movies look like cheap hookers in a war combat zone.
The documentary, Four Wives and One Husband, by award-winning Iranian-Swedish filmmaker Nahid Persson Sarvestani was made under extremely difficult circumstances, with the raw footage smuggled out of Iran and finally edited in Sweden.
The film is an investigation of Islamic polygamy that allows a man to have up to four wives (as long as he treats them all the same way). Persson-Sarvestanti brings us immediately into the intimate lives of this family of one husband, four wives and twenty children in rural Iran. We see their daily lives, their interactions with each other and the sadness of what it means to be childless in this society. With consummate skill, Persson-Sarvestanti never crosses that fine line of voyeurism that some documentaries seem to delight in. The camera is always there but never intrudes. Masterful!
This is not an uplifting film with a smiley face happy ending. But we come to understand the jealousy and envy of women who must share a husband and the trials that this family system brings. Their story elicits our heart-felt compassion, for these women will never escape their almost slave-like existence that binds them to each other and to their husband by Islamic culture, religion and law. Four Wives and One Husband is a must watch! I give it five stars.
Parliamentarians in Iran have passed a bill to protect the rights of children which includes a clause that allows a man to marry his adopted daughter and while she is as young as 13 years.
Activists have expressed alarm that the bill, approved by parliament on Sunday, opens the door for the caretaker of a family to marry his or her adopted child if a court rules it is in the interests of the individual child.
Iran’s Guardian Council, a body of clerics and jurists which vets all parliamentary bills before the constitution and the Islamic law, has yet to issue its verdict on the controversial legislation.
To the dismay of rights campaigners, girls in the Islamic republic can marry as young as 13 provided they have the permission of their father. Boys can marry after the age of 15.
In Iran, a girl under the age of 13 can still marry, but needs the permission of a judge. At present, however, marrying stepchildren is forbidden under any circumstances.
As many as 42,000 children aged between 10 and 14 were married in 2010, according to the Iranian news website Tabnak. At least 75 children under the age of 10 were wed in Tehran alone.
According to sharia law which follows sunna (the words and deeds of Mohammed), girls can marry as soon as they reach puberty. Mohammed married his wife Aisha when she was six and consummated the marriage when she was nine.
The Iranian police morality control department have intensified enforcement against women who have been violating the Islamic dress code in Tehran during the last several days, ISNA news agency reported.
According to the report, presence of police men and women belonging to the “chastity squads” have increased significantly in the streets, parks, recreational and shopping centers of the city.
“Chastity squads” detained women who were not wearing their traditional hijab headscarf properly for questioning.
Previously, the police has prevented several women from entering a concert in Tehran due to their “inappropriate clothing”. The incident resulted in some women being arrested, according to ISNA.
Iran mandates that women cover their heads and wear loose coats to hide their figure in observance of the “hijab.” Every spring and summer police forces step up their surveillance in Tehran’s streets arresting women who are deemed to be violating the dress code.