By Anonymous

I come from a place where many people seem to go through their life waiting for it to end. It is aplace where life expectancy is low. A country where the government considers itself to be the owner of its people. Any raised voice is considered a threat that should be silenced by harsh punishments, including incarceration and execution.

Human rights are just a slogan on banners. If you complain about your salary which is your obvious right, you will be prisoned because you are considered to be disruptive or even a traitor. You have no right to complain about the poor economic situation. In 2008, during the presidential election, many young women and girls were raped and killed in prisons as punishment for protesting the election result. Some bodies were returned to their families but many others never knew what had happened to their family members. In my country the mass media covers up everything and most that is reported is false or “news” verified by the government. There is no freedom of expression. The government controls the movie and music industry. It is a country where people fear the police rather than seeing them as providers of security.

Extreme Islamic beliefs shape every aspect of people’s lives. The state represents itself as being led by the only true Islamic government, which is why any complaints are viewed as criticism of Islam.  It is a country where women have half the rights of men. While men can easily get a divorce, women face many barriers. Many women who have been raped prefer not to complain because they are afraid of losing their honor. You can’t seek justice if you are raped by your husband because sexual obedience is a woman’s duty. You can’t make your own decision about wearing the hijab or go to a party where both genders are present.

My people have become aggressive towards each other as they can’t speak freely about the government. We can’t talk about our political issues either inside the country or outside because our government has informers everywhere. Our people and our women are the perfect examples of silenced voices.


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