YPJ Commander: We stand with women in Iran

Protests continue after the death of the young Kurd Jina Mahsa Amini while in custody of the Iranian moral police. Rohilat Afrin from the YPJ command explains that women have always led rebellions and revolutions.

In Iran and East Kurdistan, the protests and resistance actions continue after the death of Jina Mahsa Amini. The young Kurdish woman was arrested by the morality police because she did not wear her hijab “according to the norm”. She died in hospital after being tortured. In the ANF interview, Rohilat Afrin from the command of the Women's Defense Units (YPJ) commented on the situation in Iran and East Kurdistan (Rojhilat).

How do you view the situation of women in Iran and East Kurdistan?

The Iranian system is particularly misogynistic and built on patriarchy. In Iran, the language, culture and power of women are denied by laws ostensibly designed to protect women. Women are not granted any rights. There are therefore no women's rights and no protection for women in Iran.

Women are not granted free will in the Iranian system. We can define the Iranian system as follows: First comes the laws of Ayatollah Khamenei, followed by his ministry. The people are at the bottom and women are considered slaves. This reality is nothing new, and continues through history. In the Iranian system, women are not granted free will and have no rights.

Why is the mullah regime pursuing such a misogynistic policy?

In the history of Iran, women played a very important role and represented a great force in the revolutions in East Kurdistan before 1979 and in the popular uprisings against the dictatorship. They led the revolts and rose up against the dictatorship. In addition, women became keepers of language, culture and history. For this reason, fighting Kurdish women are feared by the regime.

Not only in Iran, but wherever Kurdish women rebel against the enemy, they are feared by the rulers. Not only Kurdish women, but also Baloch, Azerbaijani and Persian women have acquired consciousness. They analyzed the patriarchal system, the Iranian regime, and recognized its nature. So they consciously oppose this system. History shows that women have always led rebellions and revolutions.

That is why it is always the women who are targeted by the Iranian system, because it is the women who can achieve freedom and liberate society from the dictators. As a result, Iran and all rulers fear the power of women, especially Kurdish women. The Iranian regime commits the greatest immorality under the guise of morality, attacking women from all sides. Iran knows that women are the force that will defend an alternative policy to the fascist regime and liberate society, so women are repeatedly targeted.

How do you assess the protests and the regime's actions against them?

The Iranian government wants to enslave the people through a policy of starvation. The people of Rojhilat responded to this policy with an uprising led by women. This rebellion caused great fear in the Iranian regime. Because of this, the regime attacked the people and wanted to quickly silence it. Whenever there was a rebellion in Iran, the regime massacred hundreds of women in the name of Sharia, in the name of honor. Because it is the women, especially the Kurdish women, who can free this society from the chains of the regime. This makes, women the target of the regime and all governments.

The women also burned their headscarves. As the forces of the Rojava Revolution, how do you assess these protests?

Jina Amini is one of the women murdered by the Iranian regime. In response to Jina's murder, the women of Rojhilat took to the streets again and said they were fed up with the dictatorship and Islamic regime. We can call the actions of the women of Rojhilat a spark of the women-led revolution. The protests in defense of Jina Amini may lead to the start of a revolution in Rojhilat. Because to go out into the streets, take off the headscarf and burn it is to burn the thinking of the male-dominated system. The unity of the female spirit is shown in such actions. If women protect each other in unity, they will surely be set free.

As YPJ, do you want to make a call to activists?

In such a situation, we call on women in the four parts of Kurdistan and around the world to organize and defend themselves. This is absolutely necessary. We must never give up on this. If we share our pain, we must also take the steps to freedom together. As YPJ, we support the activists with all our strength. We believe there will be a revolution led by Kurdish women in Rojhilat. As YPJ, we stand by and salute all activists.