Country: Iran


ICHR strongly Calls on Iran’s Government to immediately stop harassing, attacking, arresting, and imprisoning women’s rights activist, protesters, and innocent people. As well as imminent release of those detained on this basis. 

Government of Iran must release, and halt the convictions of all activists, whom have been prosecuted for peacefully protesting the country’s obligatory hijab laws. Just in the past week, the authorities arrested two activists – a mother and daughter – for protesting compulsory hijab laws.

Iranian authorities have prosecuted at least half a dozen activists for their peaceful opposition to obligatory hijab laws. On March 2, 2019, a court in Tehran sentenced Vida Mohavedi – who sparked a movement when she took off her headscarf to protest forced hijab. On April 10, police arrested Yasaman Ariyani, a 23-year-old activist, at her home in Karaj. On April 11, authorities also arrested Ariyani’s mother, Monireh Arabshahi, when she went to the prosecutor’s office in Tehran to ask about her daughter.

“It is absolutely outrageous that the Iranian authorities are arresting and prosecuting women for protesting against discriminatory and degrading obligatory hijab laws, The authorities must immediately release these women’s rights activists and reform these degrading and discriminatory Hijab laws.” Said Ardeshir Zarezadeh, Advocacy Director for Iran, and The Middle East at ICHR Canada. 

Several women took their headscarves off, while standing on electric utility boxes across the country to protest the obligatory hijab law that has been forced to all women cover their hair, and body. They became known as “the Girls of Revolution Street” this started In December 2017, and since then women have continued to protest the law across the country. The authorities have responded with arrests and prosecutions.

Iranian authorities have prosecuted several other women who took off their headscarves to protest obligatory hijab. As well as targeting other activists, including Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent human rights lawyer; her husband, Reza Khandan and Farhad Meysami, another human rights defender for their peaceful efforts to oppose the forced hijab law. Atena Daemi, human rights activist whom also apposed obligatory. 

Obligatory dress code is a violation of women’s rights to freedom of choice, as well as form of gender-based discrimination. 

ICHR strongly opposes policy of forced hijab and It is time for Iranian authorities to recognize that women in Iran and everywhere are free to dress as they choose, this includes deciding whether to wear a scarf or not. That is their basic Human Rights freedom of choice. “Our Body Our Choice.”