Millions of women are looking on in what feels like helpless horror at what is happening in Iran.
53 days ago, protests began after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who was arrested by the country’s so-called morality police because she was wearing an “improper” hijab. .
She was allegedly beaten so badly that she later died from head injuries, though the Iranian police have denied responsibility for her death.
Now, daily protests across Iran continue despite reports that all of those arrested for protesting may now face execution.
According to Newsweek, “the country’s parliament overwhelmingly voted in favor of the death penalty for protesters.” The paper reports that 227 out of 290 members of Parliament have signed a letter urging that those arrested need a “good lesson” to deter others from joining them.
“We, the representatives of this nation, ask all state officials, including the judiciary, to treat those, who waged war [against the Islamic establishment] and attacked people’s life and property like the Daesh [terrorists], in a way that would serve as a good lesson in the shortest possible time,” the letter read.
Such a punishment would “prove to all that life, property, security and honor of our dear people is a red line for this [Islamic] establishment and that it would show no leniency to anybody in this regard,” the lawmakers said.
Commentators see the letter as approving the death penalty for protestors, coming in the same week that an Iranian court issued the first death sentence for a protester involved in the recent demonstrations who had allegedly set fire to a government building.
State news agency IRNA on Sunday said the protester was convicted on the charge of “disturbing public order and peace, community, and colluding to commit a crime against national security, war and corruption on Earth, war through arson, and intentional destruction,” according to
The Norway-based Iran Human Rights NGO said that Iran’s security forces had killed at least 326 people since the protests began.
Women have been to the fore in the protests, setting their hijabs and headscarves on fire and cutting their hair in solidarity. It must be terrifying to live in a country where women can be arrested and beaten for simply showing their hair.
There is another, sickening, aspect to the arrest, detention and possible execution of women in Iran. Their law does not permit a virgin to be executed so there are recorded instances of young women and girls being raped by prison guards before execution.
And while all this is happening, Iran is a member of the UN’s Women’s Rights Committee. It simply beggars belief.