Earlier we reported on a young woman in Tabriz who was brutalized by security forces on Sunday, October 15, 2023, for not covering her hair. It has been found out that the name of this young woman is Roya Zakeri.
In a harrowing video that quickly went viral, Ms. Zakeri can be seen sitting on the ground, chants against Ali Khamenei. The security forces, driven by a misguided sense of authority, responded with excessive violence, beating her until she lost consciousness. Eventually, an ambulance arrived, and Roya Zakeri was forcibly taken to the women’s ward of Razi Hospital in Tabriz, a facility specializing in neurology and psychiatry.
Roya Zakeri, a 31-year-old single woman from Marand in East Azerbaijan Province, holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Sciences and had been residing in Tabriz. In a recently released video, she revealed that during the nationwide uprising in 2022, she had resorted to a hunger strike for five days while in the custody of security forces. Her unwavering determination to fight for justice and equality is evident.
Unfortunately, the Iranian state-run media has chosen to vilify Roya Zakeri, falsely claiming that she suffers from a mental illness and experiences delusions. This narrative serves as a means to discredit her and justify the cruel treatment she endured. She remains confined within Razi Hospital under strict security measures, isolated from her family and loved ones.
Furthermore, the intelligence services have resorted to intimidation tactics, warning local businesses and shop owners against providing interviews to media outlets. This oppressive regime is following a well-known pattern seen in previous cases, such as that of Armita Geravand in Tehran. By preventing family visits and controlling the flow of information, they aim to suppress any potential protests.
Tragically, the Iranian regime has a dark history of taking political prisoners and protesters to mental hospitals, subjecting them to harmful drugs that undermine their mental health and overall well-being. The cases of Yalda Aghafazli, Maryam Arvin, and Mohabbat Mozaffari, who tragically passed away shortly after their release from prison, allegedly due to the administration of poisonous substances, serve as haunting reminders of the lengths to which this oppressive regime will go.
Roya Zakeri’s story is a stark reminder of the ongoing oppression faced by women in Iran and the urgent need for change. Her bravery and resilience in the face of adversity symbolize the collective struggle for gender equality and human rights. It is crucial that the international community continues to shed light on her plight and exert pressure on the Iranian regime to uphold the fundamental rights and freedoms of its citizens. Only then can we hope for a future where no woman is punished for expressing her beliefs or fighting for her rights.