By Kayhan Life Staff
On Aug.3, 10 pro-democracy groups released a joint statement to support the Iranian people’s ongoing fight against the Islamic Republic’s “oppressive” policies, particularly those aimed at depriving women of their civil and human rights.
The statement highlighted recent protests by women across the country against attempts by President Ebrahim Raisi and his hardline government to enforce the “Hijab and Chastity” rules in all public places, including government offices.
The following is the full text of the statement.
Those ruling Iran since February 1979 have treated it as a conquered country and the people as a defeated nation. As soon as they took power, they asserted their authority by killing the most honorable Iranians, the brave souls whose defiant actions reverberate through our nation today.
We have witnessed the regime’s continued assault on people’s civil and human rights in the past four decades. We have also seen the Iranian nation’s unwavering courage and determination to fight for their rights.
Using religious decrees and ideology, the Islamic Republic has deprived people of their inalienable civil and human rights, including taking away women’s freedom to choose what to wear by imposing a mandatory hijab.
The late Reza Shah Pahlavi [who reigned Iran from 1925 to 1941] freed women from such restrictions 87 years ago [in January 1936, he issued a decree known as ‘Kashf-e Hijab,’ banning all Islamic veils, including headscarves and chador [full-length veil.]
It is, therefore, not surprising that the fight against the restrictive and disruptive mandatory hijab law has continued in Iran for the past 43 years.
Recently, women across the country removed their headscarves and marched in the streets, protesting the mandatory hijab. As always, the Islamic Republic responded by trying to crush the protests and used its propaganda machine to discredit the women’s movement and spread lies and misinformation.
Authorities have recently arrested several girls and women, like Sepideh Rashno [28-year-old artist, writer, and editor], extracting [a] ‘forced confession from her on [state] TV,’ during which she denounced herself and opponents of mandatory hijab.
As before, the regime has tried to spin the story and spread lies, using its intelligence and propaganda assets in media abroad.
We, the signatories, consider the movement ‘No to The Islamic Republic’ a significant step in the fight for freedom and against the methods of the reformists.
We condemn any collaboration with the Islamic Republic in its inhumane actions to oppress the Iranian people. We support the Iranian people’s fight for their civil rights, especially women.
People can regain their individual and civil rights only after the downfall of the Islamic Republic and the establishment of a state committed to upholding the international human rights law [states assume obligations and duties under international law to respect, protect and fulfill human rights.]
Long live Iran.”
Institute for Voices of Liberty (iVOL): “A non-profit, educational public policy institute dedicated to reflecting the aspirations of the people of Iran in their quest for freedom, pluralism, human rights, and democracy.”
Iran Change: “Community of Iranian Scholars Seeking Change in Iran.”
The National Front of Iran-Abroad: The oldest and arguably largest pro-democracy group, initially established in 1949 by the former Iranian Prime Minister, the late Mohammad Mosaddegh (in office from 1952 to 1953).
Social Democracy Society for Iran: Mainly composed of former members of leftist groups who “ultimately concluded that social democracy ‘popular democracy’ would solve a big segment of the political, economic, and cultural problems facing Iranian society.”
Iranian Secular Democracy Movement (ISDM): “Began its activities in 2013 during the first Congress of Iranian Secular Democrats, convened in Washington DC.”
Iranian Secular Democratic Party: “The party believes the Islamic Republic and the Constitution are not reformable and calls for an end to the current regime which governs Iran. It calls for an end to the constitution based on religion, Sharia, and ideology.”
The Constitutional Party of Iran-Liberal Democrats: “Founded for the freedom of the country, freedom from religious fascism and the establishment of a national, popular and progressive system and the establishment of a liberal democracy, meaning the validity of the majority vote in the framework of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
Farashgard (Iran Revival): “launched in September 2018, to non-violently overthrow the Islamic Republic in Iran. Our slogan in this fight is, ‘We will reclaim Iran and rebuild it.’”
Nahad-e Mardomi (The New Iran): “To support the struggles of our compatriots, especially the women of Iran, against the Islamic Republic.”
Striving to Unite Iranian People for Democracy