“A 23-year-old in Iran was shot dead for refusing to wear a Burkha! How many more lives will be lost to please the radical religious leadership in Iran? ” Asks Dr Mathai
Yet another brutal incident of women’s oppression has shocked the world. Hadis Najafi, a young 23-year-old Iranian woman, was shot dead by the Iranian security forces in the city of Karaj, near Tehran. She was shot six times by the authorities and sustained multiple injuries in her abdomen, neck, heart and hand. Hadis was a part of the protests that rocked the country following the killing of Mahasa Amini who died after the country’s morality police tortured her for not wearing a Hijab.
Dr Abraham Mathai, chairman of Harmony Foundation has called upon the United Nations Human Rights commission to look into the matter and ensure Iranian women’s fundamental human rights. “Hadis was shot dead because she protested against the horrifying and barbaric religious norms that have exploited and subjugated women in Iran. Women should have the autonomy to decide whether they want to wear a hijab or not, not the religious leaders who force women to do so. While the world is still coping with the shocking and unfortunate death of Mahasa Amini, yet another woman has publicly become the victim of the same atrocious and heinous religious fundamentalism that has been subjugating Iranian women for decades now,” the statement issued by Harmony Foundation said.
“Women are violently killed for not adhering to the dictatorial, misogynistic, archaic and repressive norms of religious radicalism. Hadis Najafi was among the thousands of women in Iran who have been protesting against the vicious morality police who killed the 22-year-old Mahasa Amini. She was among those protesters who symbolically and valiantly challenged the Islamic Republic’s morality police and their brutal regime,” the statement added.
Dr Abraham Mathai asks if this is the world we envision where women are killed because they did not consent to follow certain cultural norms that have oppressed them and not emancipated them for centuries. “Is this the world we envision that disempowers women instead of empowering them? The voices of dissent that question and speak the truth to power are being curbed by the dominant radical religious regime in Iran. How many more women’s deaths will it take for Iran’s redundant morality police to realise the gravity of their monstrous acts and that religious norms are meant for spreading peace and love, and not violence that curbs women’s equal rights? The burning of the hijabs and the chopping of the hair by the women protestors is a manifestation of the anger and frustration that has accumulated over the years which is now being vented out through these public protests and demonstrations,” Dr Mathai said.
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