Recently, a Iranian woman named Narges Mohammadi, a human rights lawyer, has been sent in and out of the jail for 15 years. She is one of the most well-known women’s rights activist and she has been sent to the jail being characterized as “a law-abiding citizen who defended victims of acid attacks and voted while in prison during the 2015 parliamentary elections”. In reality, she is just an innocent citizen who works as a lawyer and isn’t guilty of any crime. She has been sent to prison by a jurist Abolghassem Salavati who found her guilty of crime such as “gathering and conspiring with the aim of committing crimes against national security”, “[being a] propaganda against the state” and “forming and managing an illegal group.” Mohammadi was sent to jail for at least five years every time she was found guilty. Being sent to jail isn’t just about being locked in a room for five or ten years. The most painful part of being stuck in jail for years is the way women are treated while they are in prison. Mohammadi, who has been diagnosed with severe health problems, has written a letter from from Evin prison to PEN International. She illustrates the tragic nightmare she experienced in prison by describing how she was kept with 25 other “female political prisoners” who faced a combined 177 years in prison. She stated the “pain and suffering in Evin prison is beyond tolerance,” and that the long periods of solitary confinement or the “psychological torture” were the worst. This isn’t the end to her suffer. She began suffering on a hunger strike after she was prohibited from calling her family back in France. She was prohibited from receiving a call from her daring children and her husband who is also an activist.
As a female reader, I am extremely touched and sympathized by the story of Narges Mohammadi. I not only feel bad for all the suffer she went through but also feel angered by those who deliberately pick on women to be sent to jail. The way women are always picked on and are punished by the society shows that the society is biased towards women and criticizes women for every minor act they do. The choices jurists make is extremely subjective and their choices depend on how they think or view a certain group of people. There is high chance that the reason why the jurist sent Mahammadi to prison is because he is against feminism or the society shaped him to have a negative image on women. I believe that it is unfair for a jurist to determine whether a woman should be sent to jail or not. Like I have mentioned, this is mainly unfair for the subjective view on women. It would be discriminatory for women to be found guilty by a biased choice. The government needs to immediately bar women from being tortured physically and mentally and has to react to the prejudice that is going around in the country. 177 years combined years being spent in the prison for 25 female prisoners means that each female prisoner spend about 7 years in prison. 7 years spent in prison is extremely long compared with penalty of a drug dealer. Drug dealing, which causes severe damage to the society, has penalty of being sent to jail up to five years. Being an activist is not as harmful to the society compared with being a drug dealer. This proves the fact that the jurists are extremely biased when it comes to jurying women criminals and deliberately make the crime seem poignant when in reality, it is not.
More information can be found in: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/29/world/asia/narges-mohammadi-iran-sentencing.html