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Press briefing notes Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Iran – Concerns over Chastity and Hijab Bill

22 September 2023

Iran : Women wait to cross the Enghelab (Revolution) avenue in downtown Tehran as a member of the Iranian Special Police Force monitors the area, September 12, 2023. © Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto

From

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Ravina Shamdasani

Location

Geneva

We deeply regret the Iranian parliament’s passing of the new Chastity and Hijab Bill which vastly increases jail terms and provides for crushing fines on women and girls who do not obey the compulsory dress code. In that context, the Bill also targets vague notions of promotion of “nudity” or “indecency”. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, reiterates that this draconian bill flagrantly flies in the face of international law, and that it must be shelved.

Under this new, even stricter bill - which is now in its final stage of consideration before the Guardian Council - those flouting the country’s strict Islamic dress code on head coverings and modest clothing risk up to 10 years in jail. Under the same bill, those found in breach could also be flogged, as well as fined up to 360 million Iranian rials (USD 720). They also face travel restrictions and deprivation of online access. Under the previous legislation, such an offence carried a jail term of up to two months, or a fine of up to 500,000 Iranian rials (USD 1).

The decree - which is fully named the Bill to Support the Family by Promoting the Culture of Chastity and Hijab - is both repressive and demeaning. Women and girls must not be treated as second class citizens. The authorities have a duty to respect, protect and fulfil – equally - the rights of all Iranians.

Our Office urges the Iranian authorities to take steps to eliminate this and all other forms of gender-based discrimination, and to repeal all associated laws and practices.

We also call on the authorities to abolish all regulations and procedures whereby specifically women’s behaviour in public is monitored, and to introduce laws and policies that enable women and girls to exercise their human rights, including their right to fully participate in public life, without fear of retribution and discrimination.

For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva

Ravina Shamdasani - +41 22 917 9169 / [email protected] or
Liz Throssell +41 22 917 9296 / [email protected] or
Jeremy Laurence +41 22 917 9383 / [email protected] or
Marta Hurtado - +41 22 917 9466 / [email protected]

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