17-Year-Old in Iran Murdered by Husband and Cousin for Fleeing Domestic Violence

Mona Heydari was forced to marry her cousin as a 12-year-old and birthed his child at 14. At 17, after fleeing the country and attempting to escape the abusive marriage, her life was ended by her husband.

Honor killings involving young women in Iran have become an all too common occurrence over the last two years, with a long list of victims. The lasting oppressive patriarchal and misogynistic ideologies prominent in law enforcement, government and Iranian society has allowed the killing of young women to become a crime without punishment.

The Power of Women in Iran, Standing Up to the Morality Police

I was 16, on a trip to visit my family in Iran, when I was stopped and arrested by two morality guards. They plucked me off the street, loaded me into their car, and took me to the local station. My crime? I had my hair uncovered, showing it to their male gaze.

I still remember the searing mix of emotions that is familiar to millions of Iranian women who are arrested every year for this “offense.” But now, through social media, mobile apps, weblogs and websites, a growing movement of Iranian women are actively participating in public discourse and exercising their civil rights on the internet, which the patriarchal and misogynistic government has not yet figured out how to completely censor and control.

The Repression of Women in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan: A Human Rights Issue

Women are under threat from radical Islamist obscurantism in many countries, such as Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, while the U.S. and the international community fail to defend them. Women are subject to a pattern of extremists that aims to repress women in the name of religion, but eventually devastate the rights of the entire population.

The control of women is tolerated in society, as it grants men the perks of preferential status, but this dominant control is seen in every aspect of life and weakens these countries at their core. Leaving them powerless and vulnerable, systematically leading to the loss of basic human rights and the suppression of everyone’s individual choices.

“White Torture”: Why We Must Oppose Solitary Confinement

Narges Mohammadi, vice president of the Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran, has been held in solitary confinement on and off from 1998 and 2020 for her human rights advocacy. On Tuesday night, Mohammadi was arrested by Iranian security forces during a ceremony honoring a victim of Iran’s deadly response to November 2019 protests. She was taken to the notorious Evin prison.

Since her release in October 2020, Narges has tried to draw attention to the practice of “white torture”—a form of solitary confinement—in Evin and other Iranian prisons. That is the topic of this article—the first she has written in English.

September 2021 Reads for the Rest of Us

Enjoy this month’s list of 30 feminist books from writers who are women, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI, LGBIA+, queer, disabled, and more. This list has given me new knowledge, deeper empathy, broader perspectives, much-needed laughter and increased inspiration. I hope you find something here that does the same for you. 

Nasrin Sotoudeh, Iranian Rights Lawyer, Home Temporarily: “We Are Hoping for a Better Future That Can Protect Us”

Iranian human rights attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh is home from prison on temporary medical leave. That is a simple thing to write, but there is so much emotion, strength, sacrifice, vision and history involved. And so much at stake in what will come next.

“It’s very difficult to be there,” she continued, “but I carry a sense of beauty that is very sustaining from making new friends and having an opportunity to continue my work. For instance, an hour before leaving I was advising a particular prisoner about her legal case. I can help these women appeal for their rights and freedom. That is deeply rewarding.'”

On June 13, the Whole World Should Be Watching Iran, Demanding Justice and Calling to #FreeNahid and #FreeThemAll

“Propaganda against the state.” That’s one of the most frequent charges in politically motivated imprisonments in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Translated, it means “Thinking is forbidden and talking about your thoughts is a crime.”

My mother’s case burst my bubble and woke me up: Her case was not an exception, but a fate shared by hundreds if not thousands.

“Unbearable”: Reza Khandan, Husband of Nasrin Sotoudeh, on the Ground in Iran’s Qarchak Prison

“My wife Nasrin Sotoudeh has been unjustly and cruelly imprisoned since June 2018 for her legal work representing Iranian human rights and women’s rights activists. … I call on the United Nations to conduct an independent investigation into all of Iran’s prisons, and for Qarchak women’s prison to be immediately closed. The dignity, health and safety of women, children and families everywhere demands no less.”