“I believe her”

Newscaster’s sexual harassment story emboldens Iranians to speak up

(Sheena Shirani/Facebook)

The decision by Iranian newscaster Sheena Shirani to publicly claim she was sexually harassed by coworkers at Press TV has encouraged other women in similar situations to come forward. In early February, Shirani posted messages and an audio recording allegedly from her boss, news editor Hamid Reza Emadi, in which he begs her to come to his apartment for sex. She posted the audio file on her Facebook page, where it was listened to more than 100,000 times, the BBC reports. Shirani then reportedly resigned and fled the country.

In a statement issued via Iran’s government news agency, Press TV said: “Although the audio file is not legally admissible and no complaint has been made, but since the case is of a serious matter the relevant officials are investigating the case to clarify the issue.”

The statement said the audio file was made with the help of “people opposing the Iranian system with political motives” and called the case “suspicious,” adding the complainant had not gone through the usual official channels to address a criminal act.

Many women responded to the events on social media, sharing similar stories. One wrote on Facebook: “I believe her and understand her … There is no authority to go to and complain about those dirty looks, dirty words that hurt you, instead they punish you saying it is your fault to have become friendly, worn make-up, worn perfume or smiled.”

Another, on Twitter, shared a story of a colleague who had committed following constant workplace harassment.

Read the full story at the BBC.

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