Even though violence against women, with much regret, is not an unheard of
phenomenon even in the most democratic countries, it is seldom that you will
find a country where there are laws supporting and promoting this savagery.
Iran, under the rule of the mullahs' is the prime example of such county.
A complete report on the nature of the mallah's laws against women, will
require volumes of books, and I will only have time today to briefly touch
on a few major areas of concern. Before we get to the specifics of the
mullahs' laws, allow me to explain that I refer to the current regime in
Iran as the "mullahs' regime," for I can not allow myself to call them the
"Iranian regime." The nation of Iran, with it's rich culture and kind
people, should in no way be considered affiliated with the treachery and
crimes committed by the ruling regime. I can neither refer to them as the
Islamic regime, for as far as I have come to comprehend, Islam is a religion
of mercy and compassion.
Rafsanjani, who is now in his second term as the President of the mullahs'
regime, in an interview in the daily Ettela'at, on the 7th of June, 1986,
describes the philosophy of the mullahs' on the issue of gender equality. He
mentions that: "Equality does not take precedence over justice... Justice
does not mean that all laws must be the same for the men and women." He
continues saying that: "The difference in the height, vitality, voice,
development, muscular quality and physical strength of men and women shows
that men are stronger and more capable in all fields..." And to make things
more idiotic, he adds: "Men's brains are larger... Men incline toward
reasoning and rationalism while women basically tend to be emotional...
These differences affect the delegation of responsibilities, duties and
These comments are in fact the essence of the barbarous philosophy behind
the anti-women laws of the mullahs'.
In the "Preamble" of the mullah's Constitution, women are defined as the
"care takers of the family", which translates to "the ones without any
social rights." In Articles of the Constitution and in the Penal codes of
the regime, this gender discrimination has been clearly stated.
In Article 21 of the Constitution, the mullahs write that "The government
must ensure the rights of women in all respect, in conformity with Islamic
criteria...". What this means is that the clergy will have the right to
interpret the laws pertaining to women, and of course men and anything else.
And just to make sure that there is no misunderstanding on how far the
clergy can take this, in Article 167 of the Constitution, it is explained
that: "The Judge is bound to attempt to rule on each case, on the basis of
the codified law. In case of the absence of any such law, he has to deliver
his judgment on the basis of official Islamic sources and authentic fatawa.
(which are the sayings of the prophet)" What this really translate to is
that the "real" judge, is the clergy, and the real law is not the letter of
the law, but what the clergy sees as "authoritative" or "authentic" source
of his religion. To make sure that there are no buts and ifs in the
superiority of these religious beliefs over the law, Article 167 continues
that the judge, "on the pretext of the silence of or deficiency of the law
in the matter, or its brevity or contradictory nature, cannot refrain from
admitting and examining cases and delivering his judgment." The message to
the judge: "never mind the law,
use your religious opinions."
Mullahs, who are the embodiment of fundamentalism, have since created a
"judicial" system that is among the most barbaric, if not the most barbaric,
system in the world. The main victims, of course are the women. What follows
are a few example of these laws:
Stoning Women to death
This vicious and barbaric form of punishment does not exist anywhere in the
world but in Mullah's Iran. Under Article 83 of the penal code, called the
Law of Hodoud, the penalty for adultery is flogging, 100 strikes of the
lash, for unmarried male and female offenders. Article 102, however, states
that married offenders are liable to stoning regardless of their gender, but
the method laid down for a man involves his burial up to his waist, and for
a women up to her neck. The law also provides that if a person who is to be
stoned manages to escape, he or she will be allowed to go free. Since it is
easier for man to escape, this discrimination literally becomes a matter of
life and death for a woman. In practice, even in cases when a woman who is
being stoned escapes, she is often recaptured and either stoned again or
shot on the spot.
Article 104 of the Law of Hodoud provides that, when stoning an offender,
the stones should not be so large that the person dies after being hit with
two of them, nor so small as to be defined as pebbles, but must cause severe
injury. This makes it clear that the purpose of stoning is to inflict
grievous pain on the victim, in a process leading to his or her slow death.
Anecdotes of this brutal process reveal ever more dimensions of cruelty.
Most of the time, the regime's authorities force the victim's family
members, including children, to watch the stoning to death of their loved one.
The latest reported case of stoning to death was in July of 1996, by Agence
France presse, carrying a news article from the daily "Hamshahri," published
in Iran. There are naturally no accurate count of stoning cases, but there
are all indications that it is routine sentence for "sexual offenders."
Legal age for girls
Girl children suffer from the worst conditions in Iran today. According to
the clerical regime's rules and regulations, a girl child can virtually be
bought or sold with the consent of her male guardian.
Note (1) of article 1210 of the Civil Code states: "Age of puberty for a boy
is at 15 full lunar years and for a girl is at nine full lunar years."
Article 1041 of the Civil Code provides that "Marriage before puberty is
prohibited. Marriage contracted before reaching puberty with the permission
of the guardian is valid provided that the interest of the child are duly
observed." This "permission of
the guardian," often means a "cash payment."
The result of this law is that "selling" or forcing very young girls to
marry much older husbands has become a common "source of Income" for poor
Adineh magazine, in Summer of 1991: "An eleven-year-old girl was married off
to a 27-year-old man. The father, who had seven daughters, received $300 for
his consent. The morning after the marriage ceremonies, the girl was taken
to hospital suffering from severe mutilation of her genitals."
The state-controlled daily, Ressalat, reported on December 15, 1991, that
due to extreme poverty and the absence of the most basic facilities, the
deprived people of northern Khorassan sell their young girls for up to
100,000 rials ($33). The buyers, who are mostly from Gonabad, northeast
Iran, take the girls away and put them to work on farms and in workshops. In
the province of Sistan/Balouchestan, southeastern Iran, girls eight to 10
years old are sold by their addicted parents for 12,000 rials ($4).
Article 48 of the Penal Code of 1991 provides that children are free from
penal responsibility. Note (1) of the same article defines a child as a
person who has not reached the age of legal puberty. When you consider that
according to the laws of the mullahs', "Age of puberty for a girl is at nine
full lunar years," the meaning becomes that a nine-year- old girl can be
punished as an adult by flogging, execution and even stoning. The U.N.
Special Reporter on Summary Executions indicated in his 1992 report that
four minors, 16 and 17 years of age, who were accused of taking part in an
had been executed.
As stated in Note one of Article 102 of Penal Code, "Women who appear on
streets and in public without the (prescribed) "Islamic Hejab" will be
condemned to 74 strikes of the lash." As reported by the state-controlled
newspaper Kayhan on March 30, 1983, the regime's Prosecutor General
announced that if an improperly veiled women is arrested, their is no need
for a court, since the crime is established. Public floggings of women in
the streets are common. Once again, the clergy establishing the law!
On May 9, 1995, Agence France Presse reported that the regime's security
forces had arrested 100 female foreign nationals visiting Iran from the
Central Asian Republics for ignoring strict dress regulations. According to
The New York Times, on June 23, 1993, "More than 800 women were arrested for
dress code violations, with many being detained for wearing sunglasses,
Remarks by Commander of the Greater Tehran eastern security district,
published in the daily Kayhan, August 29, 1991 includes that: "Over the past
month, 1,100 improperly veiled women were arrested and turned over the
judicial authorities." 1,100 women arrested in only one month, that is over
13,000 women in a year, and since the reported items by the mullahs are
always a fraction of the true numbers, we are really speaking of arrests in
the range of hundreds of thousands in a year for the "crime" of improper
The harassment is not limited to arrests. The regime's officials also send
motorcycle gangs of club wielders into the streets to attack women,
sometimes slashing their faces with razor bladed or throwing acid into their
Hopefully this brief report on the Constitutional violence against women in
Iran, has shed some light on the scope of the catastrophic situation of
women in Iran.
I thank you very much for your
time and interest.