I’m proud to be standing shoulder to shoulder with so many other elected representatives from around the world who have gathered here to show support for the Iranian people and their struggle for justice and for freedom. I want especially to highlight the Iranian women who are risking so much to be part of a movement that is calling for change and reform and democracy. These are women who bravely stand in the face of repressive security forces and shout, “down with the dictator.” I have huge admiration for their courage and their determination.
These women are brave enough to protest and stand up against the mandatory dress code imposed on them by the regime. They’re brave enough to challenge the legal system that treats them as property and not people. And they’re brave enough to stand up against all of the oppression of human rights to which they are subject. They are prepared to stand up for their right to equality and dignity, even if this could lead to harassment and the risk of reprisals from a brutal regime.
Let us all hope that one day Mrs. Rajavi is able to put into effect her 10-point plan, and finally we will see an Iran that is free of the brutal repression of the mullahs, free of the cruelty and human rights abuse to which it’s been subjected for far too long, and free at last to pursue a democratic future where men and women have an equal chance to follow their dreams, make their own choices, and succeed in whichever field of life they want to.
• Theresa Villiers is a Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom.