The Iranian regime’s Judiciary issued a one-year sentence each, for two young women, Yasamin Ariani 23, and Saba Kord Afshari 19, for participating in the protests in August 2018. They were transferred to Evin prison after months of lingering in limbo in Qarchak Prison in Varamin. The families of the arrested protesters held a protest outside the Revolutionary Court on Tuesday, October 16, demanding release of their children. Human Rights Watch also issued a news release on August 31, calling for the freedom of jailed protesters including 15 women in Iran prisons. Since August 2, 2018, authorities have detained more than 50 people during protests in the capital Tehran. They have issued sentences from 2 to 7 years of imprisonment for student activists Parisa Rafii, Roya Saghiri, Soha Mortezaii, and Maryam (Massoumeh) Mohammadi.
Addiction has been spread at an alarming rate among Iranian women and girls, compelling the regime’s officials and experts to acknowledge it. Akram Mosavvari Manesh, executive director of women’s studies and research said on October 16, that “Addiction age has dropped to the 15-18 range and even under 15.” Mosavvari Manesh added, “The worst social harm in Iran is addiction which also includes women and girls. The disaster has even entered schools.” (The official IRNA news agency – October 15, 2018)
This confession is of course not the entire reality of addiction among Iranian women and girls. Three years ago, Shahindokht Molaverdai, presidential deputy on Women and Family Affairs, had announced that, “The average addiction age has plunged to 13 years for girls.” (The state-run ISNA news agency – September 4, 2015)
In light of the deteriorating economic conditions in Iran and soaring unemployment, addiction has spread viciously among low-income and impoverished sectors affecting even young children.
So, the recent announcement of the U15 addiction age of women and girls, is an effort to conceal rather than revealing the realities transparently.
Zahra Shojaii, secretary general of the so-called reformist women's assembly, has stressed on feminization of poverty in Iran. She says, "Poverty has become feminized. Social ailments, suicide, runaway girls, addiction, and a rising number of female prisoners are some of the issues we face.” (The state-run dustaan.com, June 20, 2018)
According to previous figures reported by the Iranian regime, there are at least 4 million drug addicts in the entire country which puts the population of Iranian women drug addicts at about 19 percent, indicating a dramatic increase in the percentage of addicted women in Iran.
The arrest and dismissal of Baha’i women and citizens in Iran have continued in various cities over the past weeks. Elham Salmanzadeh, a Baha'i woman in Karaj was arrested for her faith by Intelligence Ministry agents on Tuesday, October 16, after her house was ransacked and her personal belongings and books were confiscated.
Earlier, on October 2, Sahar Rouhani, another Baha'i woman was fired from her job in Yazd because of believing in the Baha'i faith. Ms. Rouhani had been already expelled from school where she was studying the fourth semester of photojournalism in 2009. Now, she has been also deprived of her job due to her faith too.
Baha’i women and citizens are systematically deprived of their human rights while according to article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, “everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.” Just last month, the names of 21 Baha’i women were announced who had participated in and passed the 2018 National University Entrance Exam, but were deprived of education. Also in September, nine Baha’i women were arrested in the cities of Karaj, Shiraz and Isfahan.