By Gemma Short
Women in the central Iranian city of Isfahan have been attacked with acid because of the way they were dressed.
The official press reports four women were attacked, but some put the number as high as 15.
This attack comes as Iranian government is discussing measures to address “bad hijab”. Proposals would give confidence to the “morality police” and encourage semi-official militias to harass women.
Regime officials claim the attacks are unconnected. However the attackers all used a motorcycle and many litres of acid, suggesting a connection. Paradoxically regime officials also claim that “foreign and Zionist intelligence agencies” were helping the attackers!
Thousands protested outside Isfahan’s Justice Department on 22 October condemning the attacks and calling for safety for women on the street. A similar protest happened in Tehran.
The regime is unwilling to prosecute militias that act in a vigilante manner. They are useful to the regime. These militias act within the framework and environment created by the regime’s attitude to women, and alongside official state harassment of women by the “morality police”.
On 1 November Ghoncheh Ghavami, a British-Iranian woman, was sentenced to a year in prison for watching a men’s volleyball game. She was charged with “propaganda against the state”, a catch-all crime used by the regime against dissidents.
She is being held in the notorious Evin prison and has been on hunger strike over her solitary confinement.
On 24 October the regime hanged Reyhaneh Jabbari, who was found guilty of the murder of a man who tried to rape her.
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Originally printed in Solidarity 5 November 2014