On this day [International Women’s Day], I congratulate all the noble women of the world and especially Iranian women. I hope for a day that Iranian women obtain all their human rights.
Unfortunately, everyone has heard the sad news of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s [attempted] suicide in Tabriz; Sakineh is our champion and symbol of the battle against stoning. We’ve heard she [attempted to commit] suicide with sewing needles as a result of being under tremendous stress, and [because of] the inhumane way she and her family have been treated in the recent years. This is her second attempt.
There has been more unfortunate news of stoning in Tabriz in recent months: the stoning verdict of Zahra PourSa’i and Ali Sa’i has been confirmed by the Judiciary, and it can be carried out at any given moment. There is the possibility of the Islamic regime carrying out the verdict secretly due to international protests and objections; we have to be careful and stop this by continued actions.
I have been an imprisoned worker myself and I’ve witnessed the inhumane way women are treated in prisons. Women are in such deplorable conditions inside prisons, I strongly condemn this treatment of women, which is based on a religion.
I urge everyone to create widespread demonstrations in order to save the life of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and to free our symbol of the struggle against stoning from prison.
Sakineh’s current verdict is stoning, in addition to twenty years of imprisonment. The TV confessions on the state media, the harsh treatment of her children, and the humiliation and abuse she’s been subjected to on the daily basis in prison, have kept her in constant fear of stoning and put her in a terrible mental state. She has requested a transfer to another prison ten times because of the horrific experiences in the current one, but these requests have been all denied.
The Islamic regime is seeking vengeance against Sakineh because of the widespread International campaigns that were formed. Because she’s become the symbol of defeat of stoning in Iran!
Sakineh’s story is also an indication of the condition of women and the role religion and its meddling plays in the lives of women in the 21st century. These anti-humane crimes, which include execution of women, execution in general, and stoning have always been accruing in Iran and the Islamic regime continues issuing these verdicts. If we don’t put pressure on the Islamic Republic regime [through the actions of] international organizations and public pressure, these verdicts will continue to be issued and carried out.
I ask all of you to become united. The Human Rights Activists, the Labour Activists, should form a coalition and stop these violations of women’s basic rights and the rights of all Iranians through our unity and protests.
I wish recovery for Sakineh. We, the Labour Activists inside Iran, consider Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani to be a symbol in our battle against stoning and the anti-humane laws of Islam. This is the agony of a society and the world has to hear our screams.
I, as a Labour Activist in Iran, ask the European Union and the International Organizations to condemn these crimes and the horrific enforced absence of rights against women. The European Union should take the path of opposing and criticizing, not functioning as a financial mafia band entity.
Everyone knows oppression and dictatorship rules over Iran and it’s not possible to speak easily, so these have to be more widespread and extended international actions and protests.
Once again, I congratulate everyone on International Women’s Day. I hope for a future in which we establish a society where no one is humiliated, and women and men are equal and both have human rights.
Esmail Fatahi, Labour Activist from Tabriz
Wednesday, 14 Esfand 1392 - 5 March 2014