Iran

In a matter of one week in the U.S. and Iran, authorities have made decisions that restrain women's right to control their bodies. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court voted in favor of permitting family companies to deny employees insurance coverage for contraception in the name of religious freedom. Whereas, Iranian MPs ratified a bill last week which in case of becoming a law criminalizes any act that promotes or employs birth control tools and methods.

Iranian women aren't allowed to enter national stadiums or gather with men to watch sport in public. But many have defied the authorities during the World Cup, cheering on their team in local restaurants. Claire Cohen reports.

Zeynab Jalalian, a member of Iran’s Kurdish minority, currently serving a life sentence in Kermanshah Prison, western Iran, is at risk of losing her eyesight and she is in urgent need of medical care.

Justice for Iran (JFI) – May 14, 2014 | After more than a quarter of a century of struggle to raise awareness about the plight of their loved ones, Mothers of Khavaran receive the 2014 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights.

6 April 2014 | Justice for Iran (JFI) highlights urgent concerns in submission to the 20th session of UPR Working Group on Islamic Republic of Iran.

Disciplining Bodies, Diagnosing Identities, Mandatory Veiling, Mandatory Sterilization, Sexual Torture and the Right to Bodily Integrity in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a submission by JFI highlights a number of areas of human rights violations targeted toward women and transgender people to the UN Universal Periodic Review of Iran, 20th Session of the UPR Working Group, October-November 2014.

By Rochelle Terman

TEHRAN, Iran—When Shadi Amin was growing up in pre-revolutionary Iran, she began experiencing sexual feelings toward other girls. “I thought there was something wrong with me,” she says. “I thought, maybe I should change something.” By “something,” Amin was referring not to her identity or lifestyle, but to her gender. “If I was that young girl living in Iran today, I would have considered having a sex change operation,” even though she has never identified with being male.

DUBAI, March 18 (Reuters) - An Iranian woman sentenced to die by stoning for adultery and later given a 10-year jail term instead has been allowed to leave prison, the judiciary said, in a new twist to a case that has triggered years of criticism of Iran's rights record.

A judiciary spokesman told Reuters that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani had been given "a leave" from prison several weeks ago for good behaviour. He said, without elaborating, that the decision was a sign of "our religion's leniency towards women".

Iran is the first country where all women are forced by law to observe hijab laws. Without espousing a clear definition of hijab, Islamic Republic laws consider women who lack “Islamic veil” in “public” as committing a crime punishable by imprisonment and fines. Based on Sharia laws, Islamic hijab implies covering hair and the entire body except for wrists and hands.

Friday 7th March 2014, Emma Bath - LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After Iranian film actress Marzieh Vafamehr appeared with her head uncovered in My Tehran for Sale, an Australian film critical of her home country, she was sentenced to three months in jail and a hefty fine.

When Iran banned lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh from flying to Italy to receive a human rights prize, she sent a video-taped acceptance speech and was promptly fined for not wearing a hijab in the recording.

The actress and lawyer are among hundreds of thousands of girls and women who have fallen foul of Iran’s strict dress code. More than 30,000 have been arrested over the last decade for violating the law, according to a report published on Friday which calls for an end to forced hijab. Some of those detained were as young as 12 years old.

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