Iranian rights activists based in Iran and in exile have marked International Women’s Day by drawing attention to some of the main hardships facing women in the Islamic republic, including violence directed at them by men and deepening unemployment in a coronavirus-hit economy.
“As a woman who grew up in the Islamic republic, I’m very much accustomed to the regime’s assaults, humiliations and insults,” said Iran-based dissident Narges Mohammadi in a video message to VOA Persian for a special Monday program about International Women’s Day. “But I object to the way the regime has treated me recently. Why did male police assault and rough me up? I’ve repeatedly asked officials to send me a written response, but they have not done so,” she said.
Mohammadi, a 48-year-old journalist and human rights advocate, had been released in October from five years of imprisonment in Iran after years of campaigning by international rights activists demanding an end to what they described as her unjust and cruel detention. In an August message to VOA, her France-based husband, Taghi Rahmani, said Mohammadi needed specialized medical care outside prison for a lung disease and weakened immune system, as well as for beatings that she apparently sustained during a prison transfer in December 2019.
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