[From the Medika Life Editor-in-Chief Gil Bashe: We have been watching the events unfold in Iran as women and men take to the streets and cry out for their rights – the urgency for women to be treated as equals and with respect. At Medika Life, we appreciate how faith and culture influence societal mandates and customs. We do not accept that expressing opinions around pressing social issues such as women’s rights should place a person in harm’s way. Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old student, died on September 16, a few days after her arrest by the “morality police” for “wearing an inappropriate veil.” Her tragic death is part of continuous waves of intolerance and violence again women in Iran. It is well-accepted that this young person’s tragic death can be attributed to her having been severely beaten while in police custody. Now, the non-governmental organization (NGO) Actions Santé Femmes has courageously presented the President of France, Monsieur Emmanuel Marcon, with an “Open Letter” in support of the women and men at the forefront of this pressing civil rights struggle. Medika Life is honored to receive and reprint their correspondence in an official French-to-English translation.]
TRANSLATION OF THIS IMPORTANT OPEN LETTER
“Actions Santé Femmes is a French NGO committed to the health of women in great difficulty all around the world. ASF teams intervene for emergency missions, training, education and companionship in the field of gynecology and obstetrics wherever women need it.
We, members of the NGO Actions Santé Femmes, gynecologists, obstetricians, midwives, united with the medical community of France, and any man or woman respectful of human rights, strongly condemn the repression orchestrated by the Iranian regime against women, and express our solidarity with the people of Iran, martyred by unspeakable executioners.
We mourn for Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish student of 22 years old, who died on September 16, a few days after her arrest by the morality police for “wearing an inappropriate veil”.
We support the revolt that has been expressed since that day, the first female revolution not only in the Muslim world, but in history. A revolt that is not exclusively feminist but which is associated with a new generation of young people, who no longer want to be suppressed, who want to dress, move, and even meet each other freely, as expressed in a song that has since become an anthem: “To dance in the street / For fear when kissing / For my sister, your sister, our sisters, etc…”.
Today we would like to express our deep emotion and our profound respect for all the women and men involved in this struggle, as well as our condolences to the families of the many victims, whose number is now estimated at more than 500, among them 70 children, with some under 13 years old.
We are outraged by the treatment inflicted on those arrested, especially the young girls and women subjected to systematic rape and torture.
We want to salute the courage of the doctors who treat these victims, taking the risk of going underground and sometimes paying a high price, like Doctor Aida Rostami, 36 years old, martyred and murdered for having treated the wounded at home.
We count on you, Mr. President, to implement all political and diplomatic actions within your authority, in order to bring the most concrete and urgent help possible to the victims of this terrible repression.”
With our respectful consideration,