A peaceful protest by Iranian women calls forth brutal response:
"We are women, we are human, but we don't have any rights!" protesters chanted.
This is what they wanted:
- Banning polygamy;
- Reversal of men's uncontested right to divorce;
- Equal child custody rights for mothers and fathers;
- Equal rights in marriage (such as a woman's right to choose where she works, to travel freely, etc.);
- Increase in the legal age of children to 18 years of age (currently girls are viewed as adults at 9 years of age and boys at 15 years of age, making them eligible to be tried as adults);
- Equal value placed on women's testimony in court; and
- Elimination of temporary work contracts which disproportionately and negatively impact women....
From the BBC report:
"The viciousness of the police attack caused men who were passing by in the street to protest, our correspondent says. These are our sisters, how can you do this?" passers-by shouted at police. The women then gathered again on the other side of the square, but the police used pepper spray against them and onlookers.
As the police started making arrests members of the public who had nothing to do with the protest repeatedly shouted: "Leave them alone."
One man screamed at the police, saying: "Why do you take money from the government to beat women like this?"
Feminists of Europe, have some shame! These are your sisters being beaten up. They want the same rights as you. Why do you think Iranian women are not worthy of your support??????
Why don't American women get up in arms? Too busy traveling the world with Cindy Sheehan? Why can't I read about this in American newspapers? Don't these people matter?
A follow-up from the same blogger, an Iranian living in London:
One of the women who were taken to Evin prison after the rally in 7 Tir Square, was eighty years old!
The Islamic regime is therefore scared of an 80 year old woman who takes part in a peaceful rally!
My salutations to this 80 year old lioness who wants the new generation of Iranian women to have the rights which she enjoyed in her youth. If only all of the previous generation of Iranians who got us in this mess, had her courage.
Simin Behbahani, Iran’s foremost contemporary national poetess was also amongst the women who were beaten up.