Activists from the Ukrainian feminist organization FEMEN have the Islamic Republic in their sights and are keeping the pressure on the regime over its egregious abuses of Sakineh Ashtiani and by extension many women who are forced to live under the anti-woman principles of the Islamic Republic. During the same actions, they decried the Ukrainian government for continuing to have friendly relations with the criminal regime and demanded closure of the embassy of the Islamic Republic.
On November 3, 2010, several members of FEMEN staked out the Islamic regime’s embassy, banging stones on the ground and shouting out against the stoning sentence of Sakineh Ashtiani. The women held a sit-in in front of the embassy, blocking the entrance to the building and shouting “Ambassador out, ambassador out” and “Eat your stones yourselves.” Th slogans on their signs condemned Khamenei, and demanded that the regime stop killing women.
Climbing to a high position on the building, the FEMEN activists effectively hoisted their own flag of flowers, ribbons, and feminist activism over the embassy, defying Ukrainian police during their protest against the Islamic Republic’s anti-woman foundations. As reported by Reuters, FEMEN member Aleksandra Shevchenko stated that “The country where women can be sentenced to death for adultery is a country of apes. It’s a country of sub-humans for whom there is not a place on our planet. We are against it. We should not let anyone, any Iranian who subscribes to such rules of existence in Iran into Ukraine. We came here today to protest against it, and we demand the Iranian ambassador to be expelled from Ukraine and this institution to be closed.”
A few days later, FEMEN struck again: on November 11, the activists disrupted a regime-sponsored cultural event. Iranian cultural events sponsored by the regime are one of the ways that the Islamic Republic disseminates state-controlled messages about life in Iran to the international community. Regime-sponsored cultural events have met with activist disruption elsewhere in the world, including Canada and Germany.
Hundreds of Ukrainian and Iranian dignitaries were in attendance at the Ukrainian House convention centre, where the event was being held. The FEMEN activists tore off their clothes in front of the audience and shouted slogans against “court-sanctioned murder.” One activist wore a noose around her neck, representing the method by which the Islamic Republic holds onto power in Iran, while another wore a black veil over her face. Enforcing compulsory hijab (including the veil) is another method by which the Islamic regime maintains control over the lives of women in Iran.
In an absurd reflection of the regime’s attempts to assert masculinist control over women’s bodies, security guards attempted to cover the women’s breasts as they struggled to physically expel the activists from the premises. But the scuffle only drew more attention to the activists’ messages. They shouted “Don’t kill women!” and continued to hold their signs, and fists, aloft.
Outside the convention center, a FEMEN spokeswoman issued a statement to numerous members of the international press about their protest against the Islamic Republic, repeating their demands that the Ukrainian government stop dealing with the regime, close the Iranian embassy in Kiev, and eject representatives of the regime from Ukraine.
Mission Free Iran congratulates FEMEN for their fantastic and effective action against the anti-woman Islamic Republic. It shows that this regime cannot go anywhere without being confronted by people who stand united around the world against its barbaric inhumanity.