Iranian Woman Lashed for Social Media Post
Roya Heshmati, a thirty-three-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman, endured brutal punishment this week at the hands of the Iranian government for her alleged crimes against “morality.” After posting a photo of herself without a hijab, Heshmati was arrested and detained for eleven days. She was later charged and given a one year suspended prison sentence, three years of curfew, and seventy-four lashes. In a Facebook post documenting the punishment, Heshmati wrote, “I didn't count the hits; I was chanting under my breath in the name of woman, in the name of life, the clothes of slavery are torn, our black night will dawn, and all the whips will be axed.” Nationwide protests erupted in late 2022 after Mahsa Amini died in police custody for an alleged hijab violation. Although the presence of the morality police has intensified, women and girls continue to challenge the mandatory hijab requirement.
First All-Female City Council
Saint Paul, Minnesota, has made history by electing the youngest and most racially diverse all-women City Council. The new seven-member council is made up of all Democrats; every member is under forty years of age, and six are women of color. The group intends to focus on housing, homelessness, economic development, income inequality, and climate change. “While this is historic, it should also simply be the way it is,” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said. Young people, she told the council members, “are going to dream big and achieve their dreams because of the risk you were willing to take.”
India Court Denies Liberty to Rapists
India’s Supreme Court has overruled the early release of eleven Hindu men who had been jailed for life after gang-raping a young woman named Bilkis Bano and killing her relatives during the Gujarat anti-Muslim riots in 2002. The men were given early release by the Gujarat government in August 2022 for good behavior. Bano was five months pregnant at the time of the attack and lost seven relatives, including her daughter. The supreme court ordered the men to surrender within two weeks, saying, “Their plea for protection of their liberty is rejected.” “To keep them out would not be in consonance of the rule of law.” The riots led to the murder of almost two thousand people, the majority of whom were Muslim.