Women's Rights & Movements in IranIranian Security Use Pepper Spray Against Female Soccer Fans

Iranian Security Use Pepper Spray Against Female Soccer Fans

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The Iranian regime’s brutality against women who wanted to attend the national soccer team’s match in Mashhad has become one of the main topics in Iran’s media and has once again revealed its misogynist nature.

Shortly before the start of the match, the regime decided to prevent women from entering the stadium, even though they had valid tickets. The police attacked the women outside the gates with pepper spray, which also hurt some children who were present.

This decision to ban women from attending the game enraged the Iranian people, many of whom asked FIFA to sanction and suspend Iran’s soccer team from international competitions not only because this prohibition is a brazen violation of FIFA’s regulations, but also because it would show that the mullahs cannot discriminate against women with impunity. Such a decision would also encourage women in their struggle for their rights.

The most surprising part of the event was that, unlike in earlier attacks, women wearing chadors were subjected to violence by the regime’s security forces, undermining any excuse of fighting the violation of the regime’s compulsory dress code.

In a modern country with a civilized government, it would be inconceivable to attack a group of peaceful women and their children who simply wanted to watch a match of their national team.

The regime in its entirety opposes women attending matches. However, the backlash over this incident terrified the officials, forcing them to reluctantly react to the incident and shed crocodile tears for the women.

Without naming his father-in-law, Ahmad Alamolhoda, Ebrahim Raisi instructed the interior minister to “investigate the incident.” During the Friday Prayer Congregation before the match, Alamalhoda had brazenly claimed, “If a group of young men and women attend this match, a group of girls and women might get excited, clap, whistle, and jump in the air. This becomes vulgarity and vulgarity is a sign of sin.”

True to form, no official took responsibility for this brutal attack. Indeed, the Soccer Federation was blamed for this incident because it had sold tickets to women.

For its part, the Soccer Federation has since ludicrously claimed, “All tickets were fake and only nine women had bought tickets.” While all tickets were bought online from the Federation’s website, how does one explain the fact that it was only women who bought the fake tickets and not men?

To deal with this fiasco, the officials tried to blame this incident on an arbitrary decision. But a regime security official at the Khorasan Razavi Security Council acknowledged that officials in Tehran had ordered women to be barred from entering the stadium. He said, “We only enforced the decisions that were taken in Tehran. We and the Provincial Security Council abided by and carried out the order that came from Tehran.”

As if nothing serious had happened and that the main dispute was over money, the Soccer Federation announced that “Women who had bought the tickets will be refunded within 48 hours.”

Rejecting the regime’s narrative, Iranians demanded that FIFA suspend the national team from international competitions.”

Only two countries in the entire world routinely prevent women from attending soccer matches. One is Afghanistan, which is led by the Taliban, and the other one is the Iranian regime led by the mullahs.

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