This refers to the article “Standing with an oppressed people” (Op-Ed, Nov.23). It is commendable that Canada is seeking to bring the issue of human rights in Iran to the forefront. But the biggest injustices being caused to the people of Iran are the crippling sanctions being imposed by the West at the behest of the U.S. This also shows the ineffectiveness of the U.N. Second, before asking Iran to ratify the Convention against Torture, Canada must first make India ratify it — a reason of shame for our nation where third-degree methods are constantly used for interrogation.
Finally, regarding the lack of participation of women in public life and politics, the problem persists in all Islamic nations, including Canada’s close ally, Saudi Arabia. While the intention is right, singling out Iran seems unfair, especially when even the U.S. has not ratified the convention on eliminating discrimination against women.
The total emancipation of women in Iran appears to be a distant dream. The black veil that women wear is a visible sign of a retrograde step in the effort to free the people from cultural oppression. President Rouhani would do well to declare wearing the veil optional or voluntary. This will go a long way towards their emancipation.