Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced civil rights activists and Mozhgan
Keshavarz, Yasaman Ariani, and her mother Monireh Arabshahi, to 55 years in
Registered Against Man for Giving Instant Talaq in Uttarakhand
of Triple Talaq Challenged In Supreme Court and Delhi High Court
of Doing Politics Endless Harassment for Leftist Women in Turkey
Pakistan to Enhance Co-Op on Women’s Empowerment
Women Hail Axing Travel Restrictions, Welcome Steps Toward Equality
Delight for Saudi Women as Labour Ministry Scraps Retirement Age Rule
Record: 2,761 Women Tortured and Degraded Since Egypt Coup
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Women Sentenced To 55 Years for Defying Compulsory Hijab in Iran
women held in custody for "disrespecting compulsory hijab," or the
so-called Islamic dress code, have been sentenced to a total of 55 years and
"Revolutionary Court" in the capital city of Tehran delivered the
verdict to Monireh Arabshahi, Yasamin Ariany, and Mojgan Keshavarz who are
behind bars in the notorious Qarchak prison.
and Ariany's legal counsel, Amir Raeesian, told Ensaf News website August 1
that if the verdict is upheld, his clients would be sentenced to ten years to
Iran if a prison term is unusually long, a shorter sentence is set to be
served. Usually, the shorter sentence to be served is a little more than half
of the original long prison term.
an interview with Radio Farda, Mojgan Keshavarz's attorney, Mohammad Moqimi,
also verified the news but said that her client would appeal.
verdict was delivered to the prisoners in the absence of their lawyers, Human
Rights Activists News Agency, HRANA, reported.
three had been charged with "assembly and collusion to act against
national security," "propaganda against the regime," as well as
"encouraging and preparing the grounds for corruption and
Moqimi told Radio Farda that his client, Mojgan Keshavarz, had merely protested
compulsory hijab and had nothing to do with other charges claimed by the
none of the attorneys were allowed to represent their clients during different
stages of issuing the indictment, interrogation, and trial.
International (AI) had earlier also protested depriving the accused of the
right of having access to legal counsels.
to AI, "In April 2019, Yasaman Aryani, her mother, Monireh Arabshahi, and
Mojgan Keshavarz were all arrested after posting a video that went viral on
International Women's Day. In it, they are seen walking without headscarves
through a Tehran metro train, handing flowers to female passengers. "The
day will come when women are not forced to struggle," Monireh Arabshahi is
heard saying while Yasaman Aryani hands a flower to a woman wearing a hijab,
saying she hopes to walk side by side in the street one day, "me without
the hijab and you with the hijab".
say that because of this video, Yasaman Aryani and Monireh Arabshahi are facing
charges that include "spreading propaganda against the system" and
"inciting corruption and prostitution."
AI reported that the detained women were under heavy pressure to make
self-incriminating testimony in front of TV cameras.
28 of Tehran's Revolutionary Court that condemned the three is presided by a
notorious judge, Mohammad Moqisseh, who is well known for issuing harsh
verdicts totally based on the reports compiled by intelligence agents.
while delivering the verdict, Moqisseh told the three, "I will make you
is the same judge who on March 11 sentenced the prominent Iranian lawyer and
defender of women's rights Nasrin Sotoudeh to nearly forty years.
day later, Sotoudeh's husband, Reza Khandan, announced that only the longest
sentence of the verdicts would be served, which is ten years imprisonment (for
"encouraging corruption and debauchery and providing the means").
a first-ever case registered in Uttarakhand after the enactment of the law
criminalising “triple talaq”, the police registered an FIR against a man for
allegedly giving instant talaq to her wife.
had received a complaint by a woman contending that her husband, after beating
her on July 31, gave her triple talaq. We have registered an FIR against her
husband. The investigation is underway,” Nivedita Kukreti, Senior
Superintendent of Police, told ANI.
August 1, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Muslim Women
(Protection of Rights on Marriage), Bill, 2019, which criminalises instant
‘triple talaq’ among Muslims and attracts a jail term of three years for the
Delhi: The newly-minted law which criminalises the practice of instant ‘triple
talaq’, making it a punishable offence, has been challenged in the Supreme
Court and the Delhi High Court.
Friday, a day after President Ram Nath Kovind signed on the The Muslim Women
(Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2019, making it into law, a Muslim
relegious organisation —Samastha Kerela Jamiathul Ulema—moved the apex court
against the legislation, claiming it violates the fundamental rights as
enshrined in the constitution.
the same day, advocate Shahid Ali challenged the law in Delhi High Court,
calling it unconstitutional.
Bill replaced the triple talaq ordinance formulated in 2018, and makes the
declaration of triple talaq a cognizable offence, attracting up to three years
imprisonment with a fine. An accused can be arrested without a warrant.
relegious organisation has contended that the Act allows for penal actions
against a specific class of persons based on their religion.
petition also said that following the Shayara Bano case, the utterance of the
word has been rendered useless, and questioned the logic behind the penal
action against husband for the utterance of a meaningless word.
Act action may lead to polarization and disharmony in society, the plea said,
seeking direction to strike down the law while asking for a stay on its
petitioner also said the bill violates fundamental rights under Article 14, 15
and 21 of the constitution of India.
plea filed in the Delhi High Court said the Act was not only against the
fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution but also against the principle
of natural justice and directive principles of state policy.
petition filed in the high court questioned the absence of mechanism in place
to test the veracity of complaints for pronouncing the word 'talaq' thrice.
cases are most likely to be mentioned next week in the both the courts.
the Bill was tabled in Parliament, leaders of the Congress, Samajwadi Party,
the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) had said
the it was partisan, unconstitutional and arbitrary, while accusing the
government of getting it passed through a “managed majority."
you have a social media account? Do you remember what you posted six or seven
years ago? Now imagine a court case where prosecutors are asking for up to 17
years in prison for your tweets from almost a decade ago. Legal and online
harassment are expected for any leftist female politician. Offending Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has become the quintessential charge against
everyone who dares to express a critical opinion.
is the story of a young brave female opposition politician, Dr. Canan
Kaftancioglu, provincial chair of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) for
Istanbul. The court case that was brought against her is an act of revenge by
the patriarchy in Turkey against a strong-willed, independent and successful
female politician. When I interviewed Kaftancioglu for the first time in May,
she was busy reorganizing the opposition because the CHP’s first Istanbul
mayoral victory was annulled. She was focused and hopeful. Kaftancioglu is one
of the most important figures behind the CHP's phenomenal success.
being the savvy politician he is, must have seen how dangerous Kaftancioglu can
be to his 25-year reign in Istanbul before most Turks knew her name.
48 hours after I was elected chair,” said Kaftancioglu in our second interview,
“an investigation was launched against me.” Kaftancioglu was elected on Jan.
13, 2018. The prosecutors started the investigation on Jan. 15 and Erdogan gave
a disparaging speech about her at the parliamentary gathering of his Justice
and Development Party (AKP) on Jan. 16. Erdogan did not utter Kaftancioglu’s
name but posted her alleged tweets on a screen, accused her of offending the
values of the nation and disrespecting the state and called her election a
“total disaster.” In a boastful display of masculinity, Erdogan exclusively
addressed CHP chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu and said, “Tell me who your friends
are and I will tell you who you are.” Erdogan spent over 10 minutes reading out
each Kaftancioglu tweet and comment as his fellow AKP members booed and chanted
the video after reading the case files, one sees Erdogan took Kaftancioglu’s
political presence as a personal challenge from day one. Erdogan’s strongman
policies must have seen tenacity in Kaftancioglu, who is frequently described
among AKP elites as a “tough woman.” Erdogan also must have thought
Kaftancioglu’s strong stand on controversial issues such as the Kurdistan
Workers Party (PKK), the Armenian Genocide and the Gezi Park protests could
prove to be the Achilles' heel of the opposition. The two back-to-back Istanbul
elections have shown that what was assumed to be the weakest link for the
opposition was indeed the backbone of its victory against the AKP's well-oiled
electoral machinery in Istanbul. Kaftancioglu is the woman who kicked the
hornet’s nest in Istanbul, and now the judiciary wants to stop her.
Erdogan’s speech the pro-AKP media jumped on the bandwagon as expected and
routinely discussed the “Kaftancioglu crisis,” hinting that it would be better
for the CHP if she were not an active player. Kaftancioglu said, “The day the
prosecutors started the investigation, Erdogan put in a complaint as well. That
was immediately added to the case. I was the target of a brutal witch hunt that
was built around hollow allegations and lies since the day I was elected.”
Tech-savvy activists turned to social media to explain how several tweets and
images that seem to taint Kaftancioglu’s reputation had been photoshopped.
spoke with a senior member of Kaftancioglu’s legal team, Yaman Akdeniz, a
professor of law at Istanbul Bilgi University. He said, “Kaftancioglu is facing
five separate charges with regard to 35 tweets going back to 2012 and her
prosecution can only be described as a political trial. It is then not a
surprise that the criminal investigation was initiated on the day Kaftancıoglu
become the Istanbul provincial head and since then, this has become a political
persecution with the purpose of restricting or preventing her ability to take
part in politics in Turkey.”
a legal expert, Akdeniz explained the confusing allegations against
Kaftancioglu. He said, “So far as her tweets are concerned, they all include
political criticism of the president of Turkey as well as critical speech with
regards to certain political developments at the time, including with regards
to Gezi. Whether you like them or not, they all are within the limits of
freedom of expression and amount to political speech.”
here is the main problem with this court case: Political speech, especially
coming from a young female politician, is not protected in Turkey. To the
contrary, she is labeled extreme and every possible course of action is taken
to block her political participation. Kaftancioglu presents a scary image for
Erdogan and his conservative alliance because she is an intellectual who is not
an elitist. Coming from humble beginnings, Kaftancioglu completed a successful
education and is a medical doctor by training. In a system that purges
intellectuals as enemies of the state, Kaftancioglu speaks the simple language
of the people and understands their day-to-day concerns. She doesn’t mince
words and is respected for it by the public. It was the crux of her successful
Istanbul campaign and her ability to mobilize a diverse grassroots movement to
work as volunteers for election monitoring.
take a look at some of the themes of Kaftancioglu’s tweets that Erdogan labeled
as offensive. They are critical of police brutality during the Gezi protests.
She openly mourned for Berkin Elvan, a 14-year-old shot to death during the
crackdown. The value of human life: Kaftancioglu argued that the assassination
of three women in Paris (one of them PKK founder Sakine Cansiz) was wrong. She
spoke about April 24, the day the Armenian Genocide started. In a political
system where only praise for the government is expected, Kaftancioglu’s
statements are not acceptable. Erdogan and the pro-AKP media relentlessly ask
why the CHP leadership does not silence her.
calmly explained, “This is not a legal but a punitive case. This is not a case
against me as an individual. It is a case that aims to prosecute those who
support human rights, democracy, separation of powers, supremacy of law,
freedom of expression and secularism. It is one part of the operation to
silence opposition by those who got Turkey into an economic, social and
political crisis. Therefore, this is a case where justice is on trial.”
just Kaftancioglu but also here immediate family members have been subjected to
media lynching. It is hard to comprehend the pressure Kaftancioglu and her
family are under, but at one point Kaftancioglu went in front of the camera to
explain the reasoning behind a pork chop photo from her husband’s social media
account. This is only one example of the hardships of seeking political power
while female in Turkey. Female participation in politics is traditionally low
and is not progressing under Erdogan’s new presidential system. For instance,
in the last municipal elections, only 2% of AKP candidates were female.
Although Erdogan has nominated a handful of women to ministerial cabinet posts,
their political legacy has been modest. In a patriarchal system, a conflation
of "manly" and "competent" can be expected, and Erdogan has
several times repeated his yearning and appreciation for stay-at-home-mom
figures, highlighting that men and women could never be considered equal.
February, when asked why the CHP does not have more female figures,
Kilicdaroglu confessed there is a pattern of reluctance by women to be in
positions of power, saying, “Our female colleagues suggest male names for
candidacy.” The boorish reception Kaftancioglu received after her election
gives us clues as to why hard-working women might shy away from politics. How
many women have been lost to the Turkish political scene even before they dared
set foot in it, watching Kaftancioglu's case? Machismo and misogyny help
patriarchal politics continue unchallenged.
two officials agreed to expand cooperation and exchange knowledge during a
meeting held on Wednesday, according to the portal of vice-presidency for
women’s and family affairs.
November 2018, we proposed and submitted a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to
Pakistan’s Ministry of Human Rights, while awaiting an answer concerning the
beginning of cooperation in the mentioned areas," Ebtekar said.
have been taken in recent years upholding women's rights in Iran including,
supporting female heads of households, women's employment and entrepreneurship,
and providing safe shelters for breadwinner women, and prohibiting child
marriage, as well as holding courses on promoting women’s rights, Ebtekar
are trying to form a national family and intergenerational dialogue center. We
are taking steps toward reducing the generation gap.”
the Sixth Five-Year National Development Plan (2021-2025), gender equality is
emphasized to provide equal opportunities in all areas, including health,
education, as well as women's political and economic participation, she
there is no gender parity in the parliament or elections in Iran, according to
the president's declaration issued in 2016, 30 percent of managerial positions
in all provinces and government agencies should be allocated to women, she
went on to say that appointment of women has increased by 65 percent in
provincial state-run organizations and by 17 percent in government bodies.
many foreign nationals are being supported and receiving education in the
country, Ebtekar noted, and added that a number of NGOs are also active in the
field of supporting foreign nationals.
for her part, expressed satisfaction over expanded cooperation between the two
countries and said that Iran and Pakistan can cooperate in different areas
including science, technology and the environment.
to the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) in Pakistan focusing
on women and girls, she lamented that “we have limitations in women's political
and economic participation, especially in the parliament or city councils.”
Pakistani official further proposed a joint meeting in the field of women and
entrepreneurship and the exchange of experiences, concluding that using the
experiences of a country such as Iran in the field of female education would be
greatly beneficial and effective.
Saudi women have hailed the recent changes and expressed their joy at the
series of amendments that empower them.
after it was announced that Saudi women would no longer require permission from
a male guardian to travel or obtain a passport, Princess Reema bint Bandar, the
Saudi ambassador to the US, posted a message on Twitter in which she said the
amendments were “designed to elevate the status of Saudi women within our
society, including granting them the right to apply for passports and travel
developments have been a long time coming. From the inclusion of women in the
consultative council to issuing driving licenses to women, our leadership has
proved its unequivocal commitment to gender equality,” she said.
new regulations are history in the making. They call for the equal engagement
of women and men in our society. It is a holistic approach to gender equality
that will unquestionably create real change for Saudi women.
have always played an integral role in our country’s development, and they will
continue to do so moving forward, on equal footing with their male
counterparts,” Princess Reema added.
changes, which were announced in royal decrees, include amendments to labor,
social-insurance and civil-status laws. Under the legal reforms, women have
also been given the right to register births, marriage or divorce.
amendments reflect the Kingdom’s efforts to establish gender equality,
the reforms, women over the age of 21 will be able to apply for a passport
without authorization, putting them on an equal footing to men.
Majed Garoub, lawyer and chairman of the Garoub law firm, explained the
amendment in the travel document law to Arab News.
issuance of the latest royal decrees means that any Saudi above the age of 21
is allowed to request a passport without a guardian’s consent. This is
specifically with regard to women, as the law does not state that a male
guardian should be present at the passport control center or receive the
passport on her behalf; the law never enforced a male guardian’s presence, but
it was a common occurrence accepted by society.”
changes to labor law and social insurance law have unified the retirement age
and employment opportunities for both sexes, and given both parents “head of
the retirement age was 60 for men and 55 for women, with establishments and
employees signing an agreement to allow workers to continue working after the
age of retirement.
newly amended law dismisses the age limit, allowing employees to work past the
age of retirement, while also smoothing the transition from the government
sector to the private sector.
amendment highlights the important and necessary role played by employees with
decades of experience,” Garoub said. “It also provides stability for workers
close to retirement age who can continue to be supported in the private sector
after leaving a government one since their expertise will be valued.
also means that government entities will no longer need to issue end-of-service
bonuses and the employee can simply continue working.”
an amendment to civil status law, mothers will be able to report births and
deaths in their family to the Civil Registry, a role that previously was
possible only for the father or a male guardian.
wives can now report the status of marriage and divorce as well as request a
copy of the family register, while the responsibility lies on the husband to do
so within 60 days after marriage registration.
to labor law are also more inclusive of women, dismissing all forms of
discrimination based on sex, disability and age, and reflecting the view that
all citizens are equal in their right to work.
have also made it illegal to fire a woman during pregnancy or while on
maternity leave. The law stipulates that an employer may not terminate a
female’s contract or warn her of termination during pregnancy or while on
law also covers illnesses caused by pregnancy or resulting from childbirth, as
long as that does not exceed 180 days of leave per year.
Al-Rifai, 27, an HR assistant at a Jeddah car dealership, praised the legal
amendments, saying that any society’s prosperity depends on both men and women
having equal rights.
feel very content this morning knowing that a basic human right has been
restored to us. This is a glimpse of hope for a brighter future for women,” she
told Arab News.
said that women have suffered the limitations of the guardianship law in
pursuing educational and occupational ambitions, and she commends the Kingdom’s
efforts in giving Saudi women greater choice.
will do wonders in all fields now that they have more access,” she said.
sister, Sara, who teaches at a university in Jeddah, said: “The scope of the reforms
is not only about allowing women to travel freely without constraint, but also
to help those disadvantaged by male guardianship to live decently in a humane
believes that other aspects of the royal decree will empower separated and divorced
will be able to issue family documents for themselves and their children. This
will ease and expedite the process of registering a marriage, divorce and birth
without waiting for a male guardian to do it.”
new amendments will take effect by the end of August, following the series of
reforms and initiatives led by the government to empower women, and modify and
develop existing laws to suit society’s needs.
— Saudi Arabia’s decision to allow women to travel independently was hailed in
the Kingdom on Friday as a historic leap for gender equality.
Kingdom announced it was effectively allowing women over the age of 21 to
obtain passports and travel abroad without securing the permission of their
“guardians” — husband, father or other male relatives.
new regulations are history in the making,” Princess Reema Bint Bandar, named
earlier this year as Saudi Arabia's first woman ambassador to Washington, said
on Twitter. “They call for the equal engagement of women and men in our
society. It is a holistic approach to gender equality that will unquestionably
create real change for Saudi women.”
decision triggered a wave of jubilation on social media, with the hashtag “No
guardianship over women travel” and “This is our time” gaining traction.
Saudi women celebrate the historic move, another good news is in store for
Gazette have learned that the authorities concerned have decided to treat males
and females equally with regard to the Ministry of Labor and Social Development
ministry now considers a worker as every natural person “male or female” working
for an employer and under his or her management and supervision in return for a
wage, even if he is not within sight.
amendments in the labor regulation have stressed that “it is not allowed to
discriminate between workers on the basis of gender, disability, age or any
other forms of discrimination whether in work, employment or advertising on the
authorities concerned have abrogated the rule about the retirement age — 60
years for a male worker and 55 years for a female. They say that the retirement
ought to be in line with the requirements of the social insurance regulation.
the regulation earlier used to forbid the employer from sacking a female worker
or issue her a dismissal notice while she is on a maternity leave, the new
amendments have also approved the condition that a female worker cannot be
fired or issued a notice of dismissal from her job while she is on a maternity
new amendments also approve that a female worker cannot be sacked or issued a
warning that she will be fired if she falls sick due to pregnancy or delivery.
This is on a condition that this should be proved by an attested authentic
medical report, and her absence should not exceed 180 days per year, whether
continuous or intermittent.
regulation nullified the possibility for a woman to be paid her pension if she
has a subscription of at least 120 months when she has reached the age of 55
years and above.
international rights platform has documented thousands of violations against
women in Egypt since 3 July 2013, a turning point in the regime’s treatment of
females, which was considered a red line by previous governments.
Record has documented enforced disappearances, physical and psychological
torture, threats of rape and exposure to sexual harassment by members of the
national security and police personnel, over the six years since the coup.
regime has carried out 312 extrajudicial killings against women, according to
their research, forcibly disappeared 396 women and 16 girls and referred 115 to
Arab Organisation for Human Rights has said that as many as 3,185 civilians
have been extrajudicially killed by Egyptian security forces since 3 July 2013.
groups have accused the Egyptian authorities of carrying out punitive measures
against the opposition to silence dissenting voices.
are also putting pressure on relatives of opposing figures, most blatantly
against the wife and daughters of Khairat Al-Shater, a top figure within the
Muslim Brotherhood who has been detained for six years and who was tried
alongside former President Mohamed Morsi in the Hamas espionage case.
case of Ola Al-Qaradawi has received significant attention since she was sent
back to solitary confinement in July after a court ordered she be released, in
what appears to be revenge against the Islamic scholar Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, her
father, who was once outspoken against the regime.
women have been arrested as part of the Hope Alliance case, including Mawadda
Osama Al-Aqbawi, a student who was detained by security forces after they could
not find her father, the opposition politician Osama Al-Aqbawi.
their release or whilst on parole, 2,629 women have been arbitrarily arrested
and detained; 127 women are still in prison, according to the report.
International has condemned the Egyptian “revolving door” practice through
which detainees are re-imprisoned after judges order their release.
to We Record, 2,761 women have been tortured and degraded in various detention
centres, including Hend Mohamed Talaat Khalil, 43, who has been electrocuted
and threatened with rape.
students and staff members have been dismissed from universities and women have
had their assets seized and banned from travelling outside the country.
abuse has left “psychological and physical marks that would never disappear or
be forgotten throughout their lives,” says We Record, which is calling on the
Egyptian authorities to stop all forms of violation and demanding an open,
transparent investigation into these violations.