When a person accused of crimes against humanity is elected president, the death of a detainee under torture becomes unsurprising. When the country is governed by a mentality that reflects hostility to women and considers them as subordinate beings who do not enjoy the rights that some men do, the arrest and torture-to-death of a woman because she did not wear what the regime’s men see as an appropriate garment becomes news that occurs repeatedly.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is unlike any other place, not because the regime believes that violence is the best way to deal with its people. There are also many republics where the situation is similar and uglier, and even in Iran, those who practice violence and murder claim to do so by divine command.
Ebrahim Raisi was elected President of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2021 in an election that was said to have been decided in advance after all of his real competitors were excluded from the elections by the Guardian Council. He is himself the main suspect in the 1988 massacre when he was a member of what is known as the "Death Commission."
The summer massacre of 1988 was more than just the execution of thousands of detainees. Years ago, the "record of executions" was published, which included statements made by the late Shiite cleric Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri (Khomeini's successor and the first leader of the revolution until his removal in 1988) during a meeting with members of the "Death Commission," which massacred tens of thousands of political prisoners in the summer of 1988.
According to the records, which were destroyed after the Ministry of Intelligence put pressure on Montazeri and his son's offices, Montazeri opposed the execution of women, particularly virgin girls, and demanded their release in exchange for a written pledge to discontinue their affiliation with opposition organizations.
Montazeri said in his memoirs, published in 2000, that rape of virgin girls in prisons was widespread, as he wrote:
"I told the judicial authorities, Evin Prison officials, and other officials, quoting Imam (Khomeini), that it is not permissible to execute girls in the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, and I also advised the judiciary not to issue death sentences against them. This is what I said, but they twisted my words and said, quoting me, "Do not execute virgins, but they must be married for one night before being executed."
Many human rights organizations confirmed this, and they spoke about intelligence and Revolutionary Guards elements raping many girls imprisoned on charges of membership or association with opposition organizations before they were executed.
Majalla published testimonies of families of victims of the mullah regime's executions in its October 1, 2016 issue. Among these testimonies was that of Iranian political analyst Feh Razeen Al-Karbasi, who stated: "Iran is not governed by any constitution or law because they consider that they are still in a revolution and that the Iranian Islamic revolution is still going on, and this is what makes the validity of the revolutionary courts eternal, and I do not see that there is any difference between what happened after the revolution, i.e. between 1981 and 1988, and what happened before the revolution, i.e., before 1979."
Al-Karbasi stated in his interview with Majalla at the time that: "In the case of women, virgin prisoners are raped prior to the execution of the death sentence, based on a Shiite belief that the virgin enters heaven, so she is raped with a temporary marriage contract to legitimize rape."
A few days ago, two pictures of an Iranian girl named Mahsa Amini went viral, the first showing a smiling young woman wearing a headscarf without covering her entire head, and the second while she was on a bed in the hospital unconscious before she died later due to the beating to which she was subjected, prompting official Iranian TV to announce that, "unfortunately, she died," while Iranian police described the incident as an "unfortunate incident."
Mahsa Amini isn't just one story. This is the Guardian of the Jurist’s Iran, where women are executed, tortured, and their faces mutilated with acid, while the justification is always "religious." What kind of religion is this, and whom are they deceiving, if the virgin is destined for heaven, how can committing the crime of rape change her fate? If a non-veiled woman violates religion and Sharia, will the Iranian regime convert them into believers by forcing women to cover their entire head and neck? Who are the religious mongers making fun of? How can a believer condone such behavior?
Today, protests rage in the streets of Iran in response to Amini's martyrdom, but the Iranian women's misfortune is that every time the Iranians become enraged, there is an administration in the White House willing to overlook anything in order to reach an agreement with the mullahs of Tehran. Have we forgotten the "Green Revolution," or have we not heard about what Afghan women are subjected to, as a result of the agreement with the Taliban?
Has the Iranian government not previously barred women from studying in dozens of university majors on the grounds that they would not be able to find work after graduation, explaining that Tehran barred women from studying in more than seventy university majors in the country for various reasons?
Being an Iranian woman who dreams of life is a double curse during the mullahs' reign.