Mahsa Amini, 22, has been killed, after a brutal beating at a police station. The Iranian “Moral Police” for wearing her veil wrongly and revealing a small part of her hair. Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lawyer, spends more time in jail than in freedom, just for defending the human rights of dozens of victims and for not keeping silent in the face of a corrupt regime.
Journalists like Ruhollah Zam are executed for defending the truth and freedom of expression. Teachers like Mahvash Sabet were expelled from their positions after the triumph of the Islamic revolution, tried without any guarantees and imprisoned. When they can, the “punishment” is the death penalty. Many have had to flee abroad leaving their lives and families behind, such as the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi. The endless list and the repression last as long as the corrupt regime that Ayatollah Khomeini installed and which has recently hardened even more. The protests, led by women, result in deaths in the streets, hundreds of detainees and more repression.
Iran is experiencing an unsustainable situation of corruption, poverty, repression and fraud. Women are second-class citizens in a country in which the testimony of a man, even if it is false, is worth that of two women. They are the ones who have always been in the front row and only now are some men actively joining. Iranian women are alone in a country where those who ask for freedom are imprisoned, those who demand respect for human rights are tortured with total impunity, those who think differently are isolated, shops are closed or prohibits access to university studies to those who have different religious beliefs or belong to ethnic minorities. With women, repression and physical or moral violence is much worse. Defending those women is a highway to go to jail and be branded an enemy of the regime.
But this does not start now as we seem to have discovered these days. The terrible death of Mahsa Amini is one more. The deaths of dozens of people in the repression of the protests against this assassination, which have had to be recognized by the Iranian Government, are added to the thousands of dead, imprisoned and executed by the official Iranian repression.
There were protests in 1996. And in 2009. The mothers of the young people murdered in 2019, in another protest, known as the “November massacre”, have come together and created a group, in the style of the Argentine May mothers, at that the mothers of the young people assassinated by the Iranian regime in recent decades are joining. They are vulnerable but brave women who for four decades have lived with their pain in a society in which the terror of dictatorship coexists with patriarchy.
Fortunately, the latest news has reached the front pages of the news and newspapers. But I fear that we will forget them and them again. As we have done with the suffering and oppression of women in Afghanistan. Or the consequences of the end of the war in Syria or Libya. Memory is fragile when there is no will to confront human rights violations. The international community looks the other way. Feminists keep a malicious silence and here, at home, they are to other things like that girls of 16 or 17 years can abort without their parents’ knowledge or in defense of “consensual sexual relations” of minors. For Western governments, for many feminists, for some ministers, Iranian women or those from Afghanistan, as well as for the Iranian “guardians of the revolution”, are second or third division citizens. In Iran, women can simply die at the hands of official executioners. Here, we shut up and leave them in the middle of a thunderous silence.
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They kill them before the silence of the world | The Advance of Segovia