Narges Hosseini, a 32 year old woman who protested the hijab in Iran is facing up to a decade in prison. She was arrested on January 29th, 2018.

Ten years for waving a cloth on a stick in a public place.

Her lawyer said: Ms. Hosseini did not even appear in court to express remorse for her action. She said she objects to the forced hijab and considers it her legal right to express her protest.”

In America, of course he would be correct, but under sharia law in Iran, women do not have even this basic right to decide what they wear, or do not wear in this case. By law, all women regardless of their faith must wear head coverings that conceal the ears and throat, coupled with a coat or similar garment to cover their bodies below the buttocks.

Hosseini is charged with “Encouraging immorality or prostitution’ under these archaic laws, and will be imprisoned in Evin once convicted. It is a place well known for torture, abuse and suspicious deaths of prisoners.

Yes, I said once she is convicted, not if.  Her guilt in Iran’s kangaroo court is guaranteed.

They imposed a bail amount equal to $135,000 USD, which she was unsurprisingly, unable to pay, and which would not have spared her the jail time, in any event.

There were 29 women recently arrested for daring to wave cloths on a stick, many on Tehran’s Revolution Street, chosen precisely because it was the Islamic revolution of 1979 that created these laws and caused them all of this misery in the first place.

Women have called their movement the “Girls of Revolution Street.” Each Wednesday dubbed “White Wednesdays” within the same movement to protest compulsory hijab, and the oppressive regime in general.  Another popular hashtag used is #MyStealthyFreedom, which can be found on Twitter.

Hosseini has been falsely accused of being a drug addict, a common regime tactic, and they have called women who protest the hijab “ignorant and childish.”

Thus far, she has reportedly refused any apology, believing that she has done nothing wrong, and indeed, it is the height of insanity to throw someone in prison for such a peaceful protest. There is no justice, compassion or mercy to be found within Iran’s government, and Rouhani the ‘reformer’ is just another traitor as he will lift no stubby finger to spare this woman, or any of the other 28 arrested during the same period.

We can hope that human rights organizations will condemn this action by Iran’s regime, but their hands are tightly tied as they are not able to do anything but speak up. Several human rights activists who have been suffering in prisons and waging hunger strikes have not been freed despite pressure from Amnesty International or the United Nations.

The outlook is bleak, and it is no exaggeration to say that each and every person in these Iranian prisons is in grave danger. Many will likely not exit them alive, and the world can apparently only watch, powerless to do anything to help them.

Leaders from the Netherlands recently met with Iranian officials, and not one of them thought to even ask about those detained. They even wore the hijab.

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The West is complicit. Our silence is our blessing. President Trump said the people of Iran could count on his support “At the appropriate time.” Benjamin Netanyahu has also pledged the support of Israel.

I deeply appreciate both leaders for pledging their support, but cannot help wondering when any form of action will come that might save these political prisoners from dying.

-Rachel

 

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