Wednesday, 19 January, 2022

Sexual and Financial Abuse and Assaults by Tehran Municipality Authorities and Managers


Human Rights in Iran – As this news is about Iranian women under the governance of the Islamic Republic, it should be born in mind that all the laws and regulations are in compliance with Twelver Shiite Jurisprudence. In this legal system, women are always under the supervision and custody of a man i.e. before marriage, father or grandfather from father side; And after marriage Husband. So, there are three terms the reader must become familiar with: “unsupervised women” refers to widows, divorced, old women and any female under any condition have no one to support them like their guardian is temporary or permanently disabled; “ill-supervised women” are those whose guardian either husband or father is not a reasonable one such as addicted, or alcoholic, etc. and there is a fine line between “single mom” in Iranian society and the modern world. A single mom in Iranian society is the breadwinner regardless of being married, divorced or widowed and has the burden of handling life and all its expenses. So, the Islamic Republic passed a law to Support Unsupervised, ill-supervised women or single mothers and the organization in charge of executing it is special sections of municipalities.

 On Wednesday, April 8th, 2020 after more than 8 members of “Women Affairs’ Consolers” in Tehran Municipality has been either fired or transferred to other municipalities due to the complain they submitted in the Security body of this organization indicating some high rank managers and authorities or employees under their control has raped, sexually abused or assaulted and/or financially abused the unsupervised, ill-supervised women or single-moms, after applying in this unit to receive financial or social aids and in the base case scenario they were pushed to bribe.

According to Human Rights in Iran, On Wednesday, April 8th, 2020 following the sexual and financial assaults and abuses by high ranked authorities and managers in Social and Cultural Unit of Tehran Municipality and some employees in Urbanization Unit such as issuing checks under the name of the unsupervised, ill-supervised women or single-moms applying in those sections, and cashing and spending them for themselves or even sexual abusing them, a group of more than 8 employees working in women social service unit of all 22 municipality zones of Tehran became aware and filed a case against them in the Security Section of Tehran Municipality, the Security Section not only heard the case or tried to find out the truth but has fired some of them and transferred others to other areas to work.

A source close to these women who does not wish his/her identity being revealed has told to Human Rights in Iran: “We are some women working in the Women Social Service Unit of Tehran Municipality witnessed times to times that unsupervised, ill-supervised women or single-moms referred to this unit of Tehran Municipality and we referred them with their applications to the related section. Some of these applications were in connection with urbanized Unit and some about banking facilities, i.e. the qualified applicants were referred to Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation for autarky grants. These referrals take place in accordance with the cooperation deal among Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation, Tehran Municipality and State Welfare Organization of Iran.”
This source added: “Some of these socially injured women came to apply for renovation loans from Tehran Municipality, that considering the intense need of them to receive these bank grants to purchase the building materials or other required equipment or materials, they offered them to have intercourse or convinced them it will take a long time to issue a grant and sold them the bills of iron, cement, sand or other building construction materials which had been prepared and drafted beforehand to be delivered to them in order to renovate their domiciles but in fact are sold in the black market. A large number of these women came to the municipality providing shopping invoices for building construction materials that have never been used in their renovation!”

This informed source also mentioned: “One of those authorities who has vastly attended and committed these corrupt, sexual and financial abuses against these women is Ali Mousavi, the Head of Urbanized Unit of Tehran 3rd Zone and his employees. It is also important to mention that these facilities are provided by the Social and Cultural Deputy Office of Tehran Municipality, under supervision of Mohsen Pirhadi, but in his alleged absence and lack of supervising and mismanagement, these offenders can abuse unsupervised, ill-supervised women or single-moms freely. Single moms have continuously in public meetings mentioned these issues to Tehran 3rd zone mayor but Soleimani instead of following up their complains contacted these women through his chief Secretary and invited them to his office, and instead of helping them to solve their problems asked them to have intercourse with him and misused his position to force them to accept his offer.”

This source, as an employee of Tehran Municipality, mentioned: “the budget dedicated to supporting unsupervised, ill-supervised women or single-moms is more than 20 billion tomans (almost 4,750,000 USD) only for Tehran which is known as “Women Supporting Budget”, but surprisingly the only ones who do not use it are women.”

As an instance provided by this source who had been sexually assaulted by the officer of her case as a single mom in Tehran Municipality said: “Three years ago, a 42-year-old lady whose husband was a construction worker and passed away because of falling down from scaffolds while working for a sub-companies of Tehran Municipality and asked for autarky grants to do the sewing, and was sexually abused by her case officer and finally, he asked her to marry him temporarily for 3 months. This woman after a while was forced to accept his offer as a result of having no income and disability to pay the expenses and in return received a loan of just 3 million Tomans (712.50 USD).”

Single moms in Iran needs intensive supports and should not be subject to any sexual assault whatsoever, especially because of their social needs.

Despite all the claims Islamic Republic authorities (governmental or non-governmental) make that unsupervised, ill-supervised women or single-moms are under support, the truth based on the evidence, documents and reports is on the contrary and illustrates a painful experience of being a woman that not only is not supported by the government, but also any time has to apply to organizations or governmental offices are subject to sexual assault.

In different countries across the world to empower these women a vast investment takes place to support them and use their abilities both in micro- and macroeconomics.
Zahra Javaherian, Vice President in Women and Family Affairs, in a meeting by high ranked authorities of Women Affairs Committee in the Islamic Republic had mentioned: “At the moment, there are more than 3,200,000 single moms in the country, more than 70 percent of which is because of husbands’ death”.

Also, on July 22nd, 2018 Soheila Jolodarzadeh, 10th Parliament MP by emphasizing the fact that shutting down Women’s affairs Consultant is violating unsupervised, ill-supervised women or single-moms’ rights, had said: “Tehran Municipality had established centers known as Women’s affairs Consultant and the headquarters of empowering and enabling unsupervised, ill-supervised women or single-moms registered information of the relevant group using the helps of counselors and not only made efforts to create job opportunities for them, but also helped them to follow up on their other affairs.”

Having access to social welfare in compliance with human dignity is recognized and announced by article 25 of UDHR which entitles every human being to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

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