Sunday, January 21, 2018


On Sat. Jan. 20, tens of thousands of women marched in American
and Canadian cities. Although the women came out to show their struggle for equality is far from over,  this march also was the anniversary of women's march in protest to Donald Trump's victory in US presidential election last year. Trump tweeted yesterday: Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!

On Sat. Jan. 21, the  Iranian-Canadian gathered in front of the Parliament Hill and across from PM office once again to stand in solidarity with Iranian people's uprising. They also commemorated the freedom of the last political prisoners in Shah's prisons in Iran, just a month before the 1979 revolution. Masoud Rajavi the leader of People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, Ashraf Rajavi, his late wife and Moussa Khiabani were among the last prisoners who were freed by the Iranian people.
A few years into the 1979 revolution, Khomeini who always saw
Mojahedin as a threat to his agenda, planned to eliminate them. Many young PMOI supporters were arrested, tortured and killed for selling MEK newspapers. Ashraf and Moussa were killed when Khomeini forces attack their base by heavy machinery in the heart of Tehran. Ashraf and Moussa fought to the end. Khomeini ordered the execution of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988 with his own handwriting.

Atena Daemi and Golrokh Iraee, imprisoned in the women’s ward of Evin Prison in Tehran, have been summoned to court. Evin Prison officials declared on January 16, that they have been called to Branch 4 of Evin’s Prosecutor’s Office. The two prisoners though have refused to appear in court since they have not received written summons and they have not been informed of the reason for the summoning. Both Atena and Golrokh sent out letters last week declaring support for the nationwide uprising in Iran.

Young men and women studying at Zanjan University staged a protest on Tuesday, January 16 against the arrest and torture of students during the uprising and demanded their release.

According to state-run ILNA news agency Jan. 15, Isfahan’s Department of Culture and Guidance prevented female musicians of the National Orchestra of Isfahan from going on stage in their concerts on January 12 and 13. Shahrooz Baluchistani, flute player in this orchestra, told the media, “The National Orchestra of Isfahan was formed in 2014. Women always take part in the orchestra’s rehearsals but they are not granted permission to participate in the actual performances.” He added, “Women musicians of Isfahan have not had the permission to go on stage for years. Why they cannot perform on the stage in their own hometown, is a question that has not been logically answered.
There are many skillful players among women who are educated in music and have been playing for years.”

An Iranian regime's Majlis deputy called for implementation of gender segregation in medical centers in Iran. At an open session of the Iranian regime's parliament on January 14, Nasrollah PejmanFar, a cleric and deputy from Mashhad, addressed the Health Minister and said, “Despite the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution’s adoption of bill 427 which full implementation of the law in adaptation of medical affairs to religious principles, today we see that there are serious problems in hospitals with regards to the issue of chastity and veil.”
He added, “Women’s privacy has been distorted. Why are men present in the operation room where a woman is taken for a C-section or miscarrieg?
It's worth noting that the women’s employment in Iran is conditioned on observation of gender segregation at the work place and if a company or workshop does not have a separate place for women, they are not allowed to employ women. Also, many public places, including university classes and entrances, parks, public transportation and trains, have already been gender segregated.

Iranian security forces have taken a woman hostage until her son, a student activist who lives in Turkey, turns himself in. On Monday, January 15, security forces raided the residence of Omid Aghdami, a student activist at the University of Tabriz, a poet and a children’s rights activist. They took his mother, Akram Imamgholizadeh who has heart condition, to room 37 of Tabriz's Prison and told her they would keep her in detention until her son reports in to the Intelligence Department. In an open letter, Mr. Aghdami has protested the regime’s security forces’ intimidation of his mother and taking her hostage. In turn, he has threatened to set himself ablaze outside the Iranian embassy in Ankara- Turkey, if anything happens to his mother. He said this is the second time his mother has been summoned to Tabriz Prison.

3,000 young women and girls have run away from their homes in Iran during the period spanning between March and September 2017.  In an interview with the state-run Tasnim news agency, head of the Social Emergency of the Welfare Organization, Hossein Assadbeigi, said, “Compared to the previous year, the number of runaway girls has increased in the first six months of the Persian year.” Assadbeigi said the Welfare Organization had been informed of a total of 5,000 runaway girls, last year. 
This number includes girls who have reported themselves in to the centers of the Welfare Organization, as well as those who have been reported as being on the run. However, the actual figure should be considered much higher.
Runaway girls can stay up to three weeks in one of the four centers of the Welfare Organization in the capital. Based on the organization’s laws, however, the girls who need support for a longer period have to move to other centers called, Safety House (khaneh salamat). These houses have limited capacity and are actually not safe. There have been numerous reports in the past indicating that girls are sexually abused in these houses and ultimately sold to human trafficking gangs.

Security agents put the veil back on the head of a Chinese woman performing on stage in Iran. On Friday, January 12, on the third night of the annual Fajr Music Festival in Iran, an Iranian musical group was performing in Niavaran Cultural Center in the company of some Chinese players, when the head cover of one of the Chinese women fell. Security agents reacted by going on stage during the performance to put back the veil on the head of the woman. (The state-run Aftab website – January 13, 2018)