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Women

UN Rights Official Urged to Ditch Hijab While Visiting Iran

February 1, 2024
1 min read
Dozens of Iranian women rights activists have urged UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif to not wear a headscarf during her upcoming trip to Iran, calling the garment “a symbol of the ruling regime’s ideology”
Dozens of Iranian women rights activists have urged UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif to not wear a headscarf during her upcoming trip to Iran, calling the garment “a symbol of the ruling regime’s ideology”

Dozens of Iranian women rights activists have urged UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif to not wear a headscarf during her upcoming trip to Iran, calling the garment “a symbol of the ruling regime’s ideology.”

In a joint letter addressed to Al-Nashif, the activists also called on Al-Nashif to meet with the dozens of political prisoners on hunger strike, the families of those executed and the protestors on death row in order to “gain insights into the deplorable violations of human rights and women's rights in Iran.”

The UN official is scheduled to visit Iran on February 3-5 to assess the human rights situation in the country, amid a surge in executions following grossly unfair trials and a brutal crackdown on any form of dissent in the wake of the 2022-23 uprising, including on women who refuse to wear a mandatory hijab in public.

“Your trip takes place amidst a grave situation where the Islamic regime has escalated efforts to suppress the revolutionary ‘Woman-Life-Freedom’ movement through increased threats, intimidation, arrests, and executions,” the women activists said in their letter. “Sadly, the children of thousands of families are currently imprisoned, awaiting death sentences, or have been executed in recent months and days.”

For more than four decades, Iran’s clerical establishment has “attempted to portray the Islamic hijab as a tradition of Iranian society to the world,” but the Woman, Life, Freedom protest movement has shown that the compulsory head covering is “rather a symbol of the ruling regime’s ideology,” the activists said. 

“No government should need to spend vast amounts of money, employ patrol to enforce hijab, resort to violence, imprisonment, and intimidation on young people in order to preserve a so-called national tradition,” they added.

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