JUNE 15, 2004 VOLUME 1

To our readers,

Women's Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran is committed to promote a greater awareness of the challenges women face living under the fundamentalist regimes like Iran. Our tasks ranges from raising public awareness, conducting research projects, initiating outreach programs, to policy discussions and analysis. We firmly believe the political presence, participation and leadership of women are the essential elements in achieving social, political and economic equality. We are a group of individuals concerned with the growing threat of fundamentalism worldwide. We submit to the definition of fundamentalism explained in the comparative study of religions, as embodiment of backwardness in its host cultures or religion .Our primary area of focus is the Islamic Fundamentalism in Iran, established as a form of government in 1979.

For more about us, please visit www.wfafi.org


Rise in young women suicides

Peik-e Iran Website

May 1, 2004

The number of suicides in 2003 had a 46% increase compared to 2002, and 74% of the successful suicides (that led to death), were those of women. The director general of social affairs of the governorate of Kohkiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad said this and added: "90% of these women were between 17 and 35 years old. The real number of suicides is much higher than what we have."


A Killer With No Remorse, and Little Respect for Women

New York Times - By Virginia Heffernan
May 24, 2004

I strangled her," an ordinary-looking man says evenly, his eyes fixed on an interviewer to the left of the camera. The confession is not extracted but volunteered. The man, Saeed Hanaei, is a serial killer, and pleased. This is going to be bleak. "And Along Came a Spider," a documentary tells the disjointed story of an Iranian man who killed 16 "street women," 15 of whom had done time for prostitution, in the name of ridding his country of vice. As if the crime weren't grim enough, various people, including Hanaei's wife and son, hail the murderer as a hero. One man says, laughing happily: "He did the right thing. He should have continued. "One of the most disturbing people in the film is Hanaei's mother. Smiling over her son's youthful mischief, she also reflects on how restricted she feels in Iran. Could this be a feminist statement?...


Human Auction in United Arab Emirates

Shargh (Iran-based daily)

May 26, 2004

A group of Iranian boys and girls will be sold in an auction today in Fojeyreh, United Arab Emirates. At a round table discussion on human trafficking held yesterday (at the office of) the Young Iranian Society news agency, it was announced that the preparations for this auction were made two weeks before by hunters of Iranian women and girls in the course of an international exhibition.
The human hunters were able to choose 54 Iranian girls out of the 286 that were put on show in an Arab country's booth. They were then sent to a
Persian Gulf country on May 17 to get ready for the Fojeyreh auction on May 26.
Mostafa Ben Yahya, a pilot of Iranian descent who works for the United Arab Emirates airline, announced in the meeting yesterday, "An average of between 10 to 15 girls are sent to the United Arab Emirates everyday on nine ordinary flights and 20 irregular flights from Iran to Dubai,.  Moreover, corpses of three to five Iranian girls are taken from these countries to
Iran every month."
The pilot of Iranian descent said: "Some of these girls are so young that they have to work as house maid for some time before starting work at the night clubs."

Iran's Sex Slaves Suffer Hideously Under Mullahs

Frontpage Magazine, By Dr. Donna Hughes

June 8, 2004

Aaccording to an official source in Tehran, there has been a 635 percent increase in the number of teen-age girls in prostitution. The magnitude of this statistic conveys how rapidly this form of abuse has grown. In Tehran, there are an estimated 84,000 women and girls in prostitution, many of them are on the streets, others are in the 250 brothels that reportedly operate in the city. The trade is also international: Thousands of Iranian women and girls have been sold into sexual slavery abroad.
The head of
Iran's Interpol bureau believes that the sex-slave trade is one of the most profitable activities in Iran today.

Popular destinations for victims of the slave trade are the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf. According to the head of the Tehran province judiciary, traffickers target girls between 13 and 17, although there are reports of some girls as young as 8 and 10, to send to Arab countries. One ring was discovered after an 18-year-old girl escaped from a basement where a group of girls were held before being sent to Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. The number of Iranian women and girls who are deported from Persian Gulf countries indicates the magnitude of the trade. Upon their return to Iran, the Islamic fundamentalists blame the victims, and often physically punish and imprison them. The women are examined to determine if they have engaged in "immoral activity." Based on the findings, officials can ban them from leaving the country again.
Police have uncovered a number of prostitution and slavery rings operating from
Tehran that have sold girls to France, Britain and Turkey as well. One network based in Turkey bought smuggled Iranian women and girls, gave them fake passports, and transported them to European and Persian Gulf countries. In one case, a 16-year-old girl was smuggled to Turkey, and then sold to a 58-year-old European national for $20,000.
In the northeastern Iranian
province of Khorasan, local police report that girls are being sold to Pakistani men as sex slaves. The Pakistani men marry the girls, ranging in age from 12 to 20, and then sell them to brothels called "Kharabat" in Pakistan. One network was caught contacting poor families around Mashad and offering to marry girls. The girls were then taken through Afghanistan to Pakistan where they were sold to brothels.
In the southeastern border
province of Sistan Baluchestan, thousands of Iranian girls reportedly have been sold to Afghan men. Their final destinations are unknown.


Knight Ridder,

June 11, 2004
Twenty-five years ago, Forooz Rejaeifar was a university student trying to force America out of the Middle East by taking hostages at the U.S. Embassy here. Now, the 47-year-old mother of three is organizing an Iranian suicide brigade to achieve that same goal. For now, her group is mostly a paper exercise with as many as 15,000 volunteers but no money and weapons, said Rejaeifar, a former newspaper publisher who heads the group. Citing privacy issues, she declined to provide any recruits to be interviewed. She said those deemed fit would be trained for one of three missions: killing members of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, slaughtering Israelis (all are deemed ``occupiers of Palestine,'' according to official Iranian policy) or assassinating author Salman Rushdie. The late Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini sentenced Rushdie to death in absentia in 1989 on charges that he blasphemed in his novel ``The Satanic Verses.''No training or missions are planned for the foreseeable future, Rejaeifar said, adding that she hopes the shock value of her brigade will be enough to send the Bush administration and its allies packing.


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Volume 1, June 15, 2004

The E-Zan 2004