EU Press


Freedom for women – No prison for civil disobedience in Iran!

Press Release:

The European Parliament is drafting a resolution on prisoners in Iran and will vote on Thursday 19 September.

In July and August, four women’s rights defenders in Iran were sentenced to long prison terms for protesting against Iranian dress codes that force women to wear the hijab in public.

Hannah Neumann, MEP, Vice-Chairwoman of the Human Rights Committee said

“It is important that the European Parliament supports the peaceful protest by women activists for the freedom to move in public without a headscarf. The difficult diplomatic negotiations on the nuclear agreement with Iran must not lead us to remain silent elsewhere. Human rights are always on the agenda! 16 years for taking off a veil? The draconian prison sentences show that the Iranian regime feels threatened by these courageous women. I call on the Iranian regime to release them immediately and unconditionally, and I call on the EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Frederica Mogherini to press this demand.

On this year’s International Women’s Day, March 8, 2019, Saba Kord-Afshari, Yassman Aryani, Mojgan Keshavarz and Monireh Arabshahi took off their headscarves in Tehran’s public transport system, distributed flowers to passengers* and initiated discussions about the right not to wear a headscarf.

The condemnation is based on a video of the action, which was widely distributed in the social media (see below).

In connection with the action, the four women were arrested for, among other things, disregarding dress codes, spreading propaganda against the system and supporting immorality, and sentenced by the Iranian Revolutionary Court to terms of imprisonment of at least 16 years each.

Regarding the debate on human rights violations in Turkey, Myanmar and Iran, Hannah Neumann will speak in plenary on Thursday morning on behalf of the Greens/EFA Group on the issue of Iran.

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