Sunday, June 20, marked the 40th anniversary of the Iranian people’s resistance when hundreds of thousands of Iranians came to the streets to demand democracy and freedom.
What happened? Resistance leader Massoud Rajavi was speaking at a rally in Tehran and half a million peaceful protesters turned up to support him, even if they couldn’t get into the venue to hear him. Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini then sent his Revolutionary Guards in to open fire on protesters, killing many thousands indiscriminately.
Of course, these protests against the mullahs’ regime began as soon as the theocracy took power. On International Women’s Day (March 8) 1979, Iranian women came out in force to protest the first of Khomeini’s fatwas restricting women’s freedoms. But the 1981 demonstrations were met with the most egregious crackdown that saw much shot dead in the streets.
Their protest and sacrifice echo through to the present as the Iranian people continue their fight to overthrow the mullahs, even as the regime has killed 120,000 Resistance supporters; a third of whom are women.
Some statistics provided by the Iranian Resistance are:
- 681 women were killed under torture
- 50 women were executed while pregnant
- 789 teenagers were executed between 11 and 18 years of age
- 20,000 Iranian Resistance members were officially executed by the regime; one-quarter of whom are women
The Iranian Resistance wrote: “Iranian women… were deeply aware of their great role and historic mission and were thus able to endure such inhuman tortures, imprisonment, and executions. They were not just a few isolated examples but a generation of women who regardless of their age, education, profession, ethnicity, and economic class, chose the honor of resistance for freedom to defeat the enemy of their nation.”
In Iran, women’s rights are far lower than that of a man, but the regime recognized the brave spirit of these women so they increased their attacks on women in prison in order to break their spirit through physical and psychological torture, which include solitary confinement, sexual assault, caging, and others that are far too disturbing to get into here.
The Iranian Resistance wrote: “On the anniversary of June 20th milestone in the history of Iran, we honor the memory of and pay tribute to heroines who fulfilled their responsibility towards their people, country, and history with utmost courage. Future generations will have a lot more to say about their role and values.”