#MeToo: Iranian women break silence about sexual abuse through Twitter

WION Web Team
Tehran, IranUpdated: Sep 01, 2020, 01:32 PM IST

The MeToo campaign went viral in October 2017 and started as a hashtag on Twitter. Photograph:(Others)

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The police have assured that the women will not be charged for drinking alcohol or having extramarital affairs, both of which are illegal in Iran

Iran has been one of the rare countries where the #MeToo movement was not a success. The regressive policies and thought process in the country regarding women rights played a huge role in the low response for the movement.

However, the situation seems to be changing now as #MeTooIran took over Twitter when several women came forward and shared their stories of sexual assault by a well-known musician Mohsen Namjoo. The singer has been accused of raping women. 

Some women have also accused Keyvan Emamverdi, a former bookshop owner who studied archaeology, of sexually assaulting women.

Some of the women have said the accused raped them after making them unconscious by spiking their drinks.

Numerous allegations poured in from various twitter accounts, with some of them wanting to remain anonymous. A lot of anonymous offline reports have also been reported.

A lot of victims have also said that they were still young, and some were minor, when the assaults happened.

The police have called on the accusers to file a complaint against the alleged, and have also given them the option of staying anonymous, if they wish to. The police have also assured that the women will not be charged for drinking alcohol or having extramarital affairs, both of which are illegal in Iran.

The women have also held society as responsible for these assaults as they feel the society and families of the victims have helped cover-up the assaults by thinking of "family honour" first.

Some sociologists have appreciated the movement and have urged them to come forward and use disclosure as a weapon to obtain justice, as Iran lacks the judicial structure to systematically prosecute rapes, said said Azar Tashakor, a sociologist.

Iranian women have supported others who have come ahead to take this step, and some have expressed that this movement should have started much earlier. However, some have also expressed concern over fake reporting of cases for the purpose of revenge or bad-mouthing.

One of Iran's vice presidents on Friday praised women for speaking out and called on the judiciary to "confront" sex offenders.