HEADLINE: International Women’s Day – Remembering Iran’s Hijab Prisoners
More than two months ago, a group of brave women, inspired the world by removing the obligatory Hijab in public and took a walk with friends. Like proud women in most other countries, they took photos and posted some onto social media.
Scroll forward from December 2017, and Amnesty International now report that at least 35 women involved have been detained in Tehran’s jails, charged with “inciting prostitution and corruption”.
According to Amnesty, women have been tortured, injected with unknown substances and several now face trumped up further charges for breaching compulsory veiling laws.
Of course, the Islamic Republic of Iran is not the only state to persecute, or permit the routine persecution of women.
But many states, particularly in the Middle East, do genuinely have the twin challenge of maintaining survival against truly brutal medieval opposition forces (often cloaking themselves in democracy), whilst also enabling social and economic progress to occur.
Further, many states in the ‘West’, including Barack Obama’s last administration, appeared to actively reward hardliners in Iran by caving in on trading and nuclear technology sanctions.
There is no moral complexity on this one. No need for diplomatic language or the backroom promise of quid pro quo.
Tehran, free your women.