Iran: A Bloody Face Symbolizes the Violent Repression of Women

bloody0.jpgThe Iranian police continue with their crackdown on female dress and there have been more victims of police violence each day.

On Sunday 20th of May a young woman in Tehran became the latest victim of the crackdown. Citizen reporters captured photographs of her bloodied face which were subsequently published on many Iranian weblogs. According to some reports she was filming the police crackdown on women when she was attacked herself by police. Some eyewitnesses say the police wanted to push her into their car because of how she was dressed and she resisted.

Beyond the unacceptable use of police violence, the bottom line of the story is that a defenseless woman was beaten up by the police in Tehran and the mainstream media were not there to get the story.

bloody1.jpgMaraym Sheybani, a journalist and blogger, says, [Fa] “the photos explain everything and there is no need to write about it. It displays the moral decline of humanity in Tehran these days. Authorities insist they are establishing security, but I see only the fear in everyones’ eyes. Security is an illusion that disappears as soon as you see security forces.” The blogger adds, “I do not support security forces these days as they now play the same role of both an agent and a judge.”

Zannevesht, also a blogger and journalist, writes [Fa], “it is not easy to see the bloody face of a woman on my computer screen. One colleague says, ‘why so much violence?’ Another one asks, ‘should we write something about it?’ Another reminds us that we do not have the legal right to write anything about it because of the order by the Supreme National Security Council.'”

Zannevesht then adds:

It is like you cannot feed your hungry child. We journalists are responsible to inform people and transfer news but we cannot do it. Imagine you are responsible and you fail your responsibility every day.

Kamangir has published a couple of testimonies from eyewitness. The blogger reports:

A shopkeeper in 7-Tir squares in Tehran mentioned later “The officers questioned three girls, aged 25- 30, for their veils. The questioning was so harsh that they reacted. A female officer started pulling a girl’s hand to get her in the police patrol, but she refused. Then, a male officer attacked the girl. That was when others got involved. The girls were taken away by passing cars safe from the police. They got into civilian cars while they had no covering and their cloths were torn away,
A taxi driver also said “In the morning, while the police was brutally questioning a girl, her cries for help enraged other people”. He also said that when the second incident happened, the Police hit a mother and daughter. While showing their injured faces to the people, they took off their veils. The two ladies have reportedly captured the incident on tape.

bloody2.jpgMarjan Namazi says [Fa] that ‘security’ is used as an excuse for authorities who violate human rights to achieve their goals. According to the blogger the so-called security plan has generated growing violence.

Lastly, Daroon Broon makes the situation personal [Fa]:

God where are we living? Are we in 21 century? Is there any difference between 21 century and first century, and then what is the use of history? Is anywhere in the world like here? Is any where else the law is so strange? Do in other places people are treated like here? Why should I always be worried about my sister?


  • Thanks for the report Hamid! As usual, another great post which poses more questions than answers. One wonders what this world is coming to.

  • ‘God is dead’ and the theocrats in Theeran are desperatly trying to hide that fact from the iranian people

  • How is it, that laws intended to PROTECT the dignity of women, (misguided as it is) are used to bash a woman’s face in?

  • Let’s not forget that “protecting the people” and “protecting the national security” (along with “fighting the evil in the world”) is the same yadda-yadda-yadda we hear from President Mahmoud’s “best friend”, George W. Bush, when he seeks to justify his abuses.

    It’s like a rebel child who grows up and starts to look like his father. Who is the child and who is the father now becomes irrelevant.

  • Amazing post, thank you.

    What really gets me about the whole situation is that the original purpose of hijab is to protect women, to keep them safe. But when a woman who chooses not to wear it (and it should be a choice) is beaten by police (who should also be there to protect women), something is seriously wrong.

  • Jillian York has got a very good point there. Laws that were made to protect women, and the police (that was meant to protect everyone from harm) are being applied over the same women in a bloody and absurd way. Something is very serioulsy wrong in this story.

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