The Tudeh Party of Iran strongly condemns the regime’s brutal clampdown on women gathered to mark the occasion of International Women’s Day in Tehran.

The abjection of the theocratic regime of Iran and the heroic struggle of the Iranian women against the ruling despotism

Dear compatriots,

The raid by the thugs and security forces of the despotic regime on the peaceful demonstration of the tireless women campaigners for equality in front of the Ministry of Labour on Thursday 8th March, International Women’s Day, once again revealed the inhumane and misogynist nature of the reactionary theocratic regime before the public opinion of our nation and the world.

These women had gathered in front of the Ministry of Labour at the invitation of activists of the women’s movement in order to protest the prevailing misogynist policies and discriminations against women in Iran, such as the unjust and anti-women conditions in the country’s labour market. The militant women who partook in this gathering voiced their objection to the oppressive policies of the regime by chanting slogans such as: “our right is equality, your job is tyranny”; “freedom, equality, gender justice”; “bread, jobs, freedom”; “women, jobs, freedom, choice of choosing what to wear”; and, “don’t fear, we are all together”. The police and plain clothed security forces raided the peaceful gathering of the women, beat them and violently arrested more than eighty of them. All this while, just a few weeks ago, following the December protest movement in more than eighty cities around the county, the regime leaders – including Rouhani and the spokespersons of its government – talked about the right of the people to protest and voice their opinion.

Although a number of the arrested women have been released in the past few days, there are worrying reposts about the charging of twenty of them with “acting against the national security”. This accusation, which is not unprecedented in the oppressive track record of the regime, is an indication of the regime’s intention to hold show trials and issue heavy and vicious sentences to these militant women and to frighten and scare the social activists in the country.

A few days ago, the Supreme Leader described the protests of “The Girls of the Revolution Street”, against the compulsory hijab (veil), as abject. After his remarks, the devotees of the despotic and misogynist regime also demanded a strong confrontation against with such civil protests. In a speech addressing his panegyrists (devotees), Khamenei said: “They expended all that money, thought and propaganda so as just to deceive a few girls into removing their head coverings here and there and all that their efforts produced was this small and insignificant outcome, which is not a problem – but what bothers me is the talk [doubt] about the [necessity of] compulsory hijab that I hear from the mouths of some noblemen.”

However, the fact remains that, in principle, the abjection and fear of the regime and its leaders stems from the bold gathering of women on International Women’s Day and the legitimate and civil right they exercised to protest the misogynist policies of the regime. The protest of women against the inhumane policy of compulsory Islamic hijab – and the wider protests of the masses against the daily oppression and repression imposed on them – has shaken the regime’s house of cards, the “world exemplary Islamic regime”, so badly that their only response is the spiraling suppression and violence.

In condemning the inhumane policies of the theocratic regime of Iran, the Tudeh Party of Iran once again demands the unconditional and immediate release of all those who were arrested on International Women’s Day, the numerous detainees of the December/January protest movement of the masses, the workers arrested during recent labour protests and all those who were arrested during the Dervish protests over recent weeks. The Tudeh Party of Iran calls upon all the progressive and freedom-seeking forces of Iran and the world to raise their voices in unison against the inhumane policies of the Iranian regime and its oppression.

The courageous struggle of the Iranian women to end gender oppression in Iran and for equal rights in all political, economic, social and civil arenas – despite all the suppression and cruelty of the current despotic regime – will continue. This struggle is a significant and indispensable part of the general movement of the nation to get rid of theocratic rule, to end the injustice and oppression and to achieve liberty once and for all.

Warm greetings to the courageous and unrelenting struggle of the nation’s women to put an end on the gender oppression and to achieve equal rights in all political, economic, social and civil arenas!

For the unconditional and immediate release of all the prisoners of conscious and all the political prisoners!

The Tudeh Party of Iran

11 March 2018

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