As the womenss movement and progressive throughout the world celebrate International women's day HOPI Ireland ask people in Ireland not to forget those who do not have even basic human rights. HOPI (Hands off the People of Iran) Ireland wish to remind people today to remember the plight of Iranian women suffering under the dictatorship of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the state control that stops them from the same rights that many women in Ireland take for granted: the right to work, the right to education, the right to protest and even the right to dress in the way they want.
HOPI Spokesperson Anne McShane says:
"There will be demonstrations throughout Iran on International Women’s Day. Iranian women and their supporters will bravely take to the streets in defiance of the regime. Every year they face arrest and prison to make their voices heard. They are demanding equality and are also supporting other workers and students who have been protesting for change.
We stand against any US or other imperialist involvement in Iran. We have seen with Iraq and Afghanistan that imperialist intervention brings war and the intensification of suffering. U.S. and other state sanctions have only increased the poverty of ordinary people in Iran. We stand for an immediate end to sanctions."
Since 1979 life has been very difficult for women in Iran. They have been forced to comply with the restrictions of a theocratic state. They have been banned from proper participation in areas such as education, politics and justice and there are restrictions on their rights to work, travel, and they have been forced to wear the hijab. When Iranian women have bravely risked challenging these conditions they are faced with arrest, beating, whipping, brutal prison sentences or even worse the barbaric ritual of stoning.
The latest human rights abuse case is the well-known case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani which has caused international outcry with her unjust prison sentence. In dubious circumstances she has been charged with adultery and murder of her husband with two other men and in 2010 was sentenced to stoning. Her campaign for justice was brought to light by her children which caused a reaction that last year had temporarily stayed the hand of the Iranian regime. However last week her son and her lawyer were sentenced to hanging. Sakineh’s only crime has been to be a woman in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Other figures that have been arrested are the human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh who has been jailed for 11 years for campaigning against injustice in Iran, journalist and woman’s rights activist Hengameh Shahidi in prison for six years for collecting signatures for the Campaign for Equality and the student activist Mahdieh Golroo who was arrested for two years for simply writing a letter of protest that was released to international media.
HOPI spokesperson Yassamine Mather says:
“I am an Iranian political activist and I am in contact with those struggling in Tehran and other cities. Unemployment and the impact of sanctions have made ordinary people’s lives so difficult. Just like in other countries in the Middle East, Iranian people want to get rid of this regime. We are determined to fight for all those who are taking a brave stance for social and political change."
HOPI condemns the state's barbaric regime stopping ordinary men and women from peaceful protest. HOPI will continue to highlight the human rights abuses created and have recently launched the 'Free Jafar Panahi & political prisoners' campaign. HOPI Ireland has been existence in Ireland for the last four years and is based in Cork and Dublin.
For further details please contact:
Yassamine Mather on 0044 7590 429226 or at Yassamine.email@example.com
Anne McShane on 085 800 4826
Hopi email: firstname.lastname@example.org