For this, as well as its commitments towards democracy, human rights, freedom, equality, the separation of religion and state, and peace, the MEK is incredibly popular amongst the Iranian people.
Recently, the played a leading role during the Iranian people’s uprising against the regime and we have women at the forefront of this movement. In fact, Alireza Jafarzadeh, member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Foreign Affairs Committee, tweeted about three brave girls who tore down a large poster of regime terrorist Qassem Soleimani just hours after his funeral.
Of course, this is perhaps not surprising considering that women are treated as second-class citizens by the mullahs and are repressed in many areas. By comparison, the MEK champions gender equality, viewing the role of women in all sectors as essential, and the Iranian opposition movement is actually led by a woman, Maryam Rajavi.
Indeed, the participation of women in these protests is ever increasing. Many of the photos and videos of the MEK-led uprising in November shows the significant participation of women, with brave MEK’s female supporters out in the streets, calling for the overthrow of the mullah and denouncing the corruption, mismanagement, and brutality of the regime.
This was despite the increased presence of security forces, the regime’s horrific crackdown on peaceful protesters, and the internet blockade designed to stop protesters from communicating with each other and the outside world. Over 400 women were killed, according to the MEK and many more arrested, facing torture and even sexual violence in prison.
The MEK said: “Not only were women participating in the protests, but they were also leading them.”
This is especially true in the recent protests by students, which began after the regime admitted to downing a Ukrainian airliner and killing all 176 people on board. (The regime admitted this on January 11, following three days of denials and blaming technical problems, saying they had mistaken the place for an incoming retaliatory missile, as Iran had fired missiles at US bases in Iraq earlier that day.)
It is the young women who are leading the movement, risking arrest, imprisonment, and execution to make their support for the MEK and opposition to the regime known. Videos circulating online show that women are standing up to the regime’s security forces, who were sent to quash their protest.
Even the regime has been forced to admit the presence of women during the recent protests, with the country’s saying that women have a “special role” in leading the unrest and describing their presence as “remarkable”.
While Rajavi has praised the MEK Resistance Units, the women of Iran, the students, and the rebellious youth for their role in the uprising, as well as encouraging them to continue to pressure the regime. She urged the international community to back the Iranian people in their legitimate demands for freedom, democracy and the respect of human rights.