Women’s Rights Activist Parvin Bakhtiarnejad Dies at Age 56


Parvin Bakhtiarnejad, an Iranian researcher, journalist and women’s rights and social activist, died on October 9 at Tehran’s Rajaei Hospital, following a long battle with thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder. She was 56 years old.

Mrs. Bakhtiarnejad and her husband Reza Alijani, a political activist, had left Iran with their son after the 2009 presidential election. She, however, returned to Tehran last year.

A note on Mr. Alijani’s Instagram page said: “Parvin Bakhtiarnejad has spread her wings and flown away. The only consolation is that she passed away in the land she loved, and among the people she adored.”

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Parvin Bakhtiarnejad. Source: Kayhan London

Bakhtiarnejad began her journalistic career in 1995. Her most notable investigative books included “Self-Immolated Women,” written in 2001. The book was the result of Bakhtiarnejad’s research in the western province of Ilam, which has the highest number of cases of reported self-immolation among women.

Her 2005 book, “The Structural Obstacles for NGOs in Iran” explores the inherent problems with non-governmental organizations operating in the country. Her third book “The Silent Tragedy of Honor Killings in Iran” was written in 2013.

Bakhtiarnejad was a contributing writer for many of Iran’s newspapers including Iran-e Farda, Khordad, Aftabe Emrouz, Sedaye Edalat, Nowrouz, Shargh, Etemad, and Kargozaran.

She delivered a series of talks on honor killings and female self-immolation at the UN General Assembly, Columbia University and the New York University (NYU) in 2008.


Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi