“Iran is in a dangerous situation. The peace and the wellbeing of Iranians are endangered by the confrontational policies of Iran and certain western countries,” said a joint statement issued by more than 200 women’s rights activists and 15 political organisations, published on opposition websites.
“The continuation of this situation, will cast a shadow of war and a militarised atmosphere over our country, exposing our people, women in particular, to further discrimination, various kinds of violence, poverty and adversity.”
A list of activists who have signed the statement include prominent lawyers and campaigners including Mehrangiz Kar, Parvin Ardalan, Mansoureh Shojaee and Soehila Vahdati. Supporters of Iran’s One Million Signatures campaign, which has highlighted discriminatory laws against women in the country are also among the signatories. Many members of the campaign, as well as women’s rights lawyers are currently behind bars, including Nasrin Sotoudeh and Bahareh Hedayat.
Change for Equality, a women’s rights website run by a group of Iranian activists, has also published a series of videos, recorded by campaigners, warning against the consequences of war for the country’s democratic movements. (All the videos can be seen on the Change for Equality website).
“Every day that we spend at war or in conditions of war, is filled with the fear of the death of the our achievements, which have come about through years of struggle,” said the website in a statement. “War for us, means destructive violence committed against women and children. It means more severe crackdowns. It signifies the silencing of our demands and civil protest.”
This week, Ahmed Shaheed, the UN’s Iran special rapporteur also issued its latest report on the violation of human rights in Iran, including discrimination against women. Read Shaheed’s full report here.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, an NGO that monitors rights violations in Iran, said that Shaheed’s report is “a significant document that gives voice to the victims of widespread violations”.
“Iranian authorities not only barred Shaheed from visiting the country but also publicly insulted him and called him a liar,” said the campaign’s spokesman, Hadi Ghaemi. “Despite these obstacles and intimidations, his insistence on carrying out an independent investigation has resulted in a comprehensive documentation of many aspects of the ongoing human rights crisis.”