Tuesday , 27 July 2021

Violence Against Women in Iran Mandated by Law

Iran-HRM – November 25 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Women in Iran are exposed to the worst forms of physical and psychological violence, and reports of violence against women, according to the regime officials, have increased by 20 to 22 percent compared to previous years.

Violence against women in Iran is different from other countries. In many cases, it is legalized and promoted.

In fact, the clerical regime itself systematically perpetrates and facilitates violence against women in Iran.

Compulsory Hijab

The enforcement of the compulsory hijab by more than 27 institutions in charge of the so-called “Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil” on Iran’s streets is one of the aspects of violence against women in Iran.

Regarding the enforcement of compulsory hijab on Iranian women, Deputy Commander of the State Security Force recently announced the planning and implementation of 4 repressive plans and said: “The State Security Force has planned and executed four Hijab and Chastity plans. In Nazer 1 Plan, the SSF deals with individuals who violate the veiling code in their cars. The Nazer 2 Plan deals with women who remove their veil or do not properly observe it in shopping malls and major stores. Nazer 3 and 4 Plans focus on women who do not observe the veil in recreation areas, walks and also in the cyber space. (The state-run Fars News Agency, September 20, 2020)”

As witnessed in Iran in October 2014, Hijab enforcement has extended to organized acid attacks and instances of women being stabbed by members of extra-judicial groups. The regime’s failure to prosecute these criminals has only emboldened them, and acid attacks against women have become common.

Forced Early Marriages

Girls in Iran may be married at the age of 13; fathers are permitted to marry off their daughters at the age of 9 with a judge’s approval. In 2018, the Majlis rejected a proposed bill to increase the age of marriage for girls to 16, under the pretext that it contained “religious and social deficiencies” and for contradicting “the teachings of Islam.” This form of violence against women in Iran capitalizes on children’s vulnerability and reinforces the fact that, under the misogynistic mullahs’ rule, even female children lack adequate protection.

600,000 and counting. That’s the number of underage girls who enter into marriage every year in Iran. In 2017 alone, there were 234,000 registered marriages of girls under the age of 15. Meanwhile, the Iranian Constitution and laws stipulates that girls as young as 6 years old must cover their hair, and that they are criminally accountable as early as 9 years of age.

Honor killings

Hundreds of Iranian women get killed in so-called honor killings each year, according to official reports.

The exact number of murders known as “honor killings” in Iran is not disclosed by officials, but in December 2019, the state-run ISNA news agency reported that “between 375 and 450 honor killings” occur annually in Iran.

According to the report, “honor killings” account for about 20 percent of all murders and 50 percent of family murders in Iran.

Such killings are systemic when the rule of law is superseded by the rule of a clerical regime that manipulates religion for its ambitions.

The Iranian Constitution, which considers fathers and paternal grandfathers the “owners” of their children’s blood, inherently condones honor killings.

Article 220 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code stipulates that fathers and grandfathers cannot be sentenced to death for killing a child or grandchild.

In addition, the constitution protects honor killings. Article 301 of the Iranian Penal Code states that retribution for the murderer, i.e., execution, is applicable only if the murderer is not the victim’s father or paternal grandfather (The Islamic Penal Code, adopted in April 2013).

Article 630 of the Iranian Penal Code stipulates that a woman can be murdered instantly if her husband finds her engaging in extramarital sex.

The existence of such laws has been one of the main factors contributing to the rising rate of honor killings in Iran.

The shocking narratives of honor killings in the past few months have repeatedly astonished Iranian society.

Romina Ashrafi, one of many examples, recently made headlines globally when her story was uncovered.

The 14-year-old girl, Romina Ashrafi, was murdered by her father as an act of “honor killing” in May in northern Iran’s rural Talesh county. Her father beheaded her with a sickle when she was asleep because she had eloped with a man she loved and wanted to marry.

A court handed Romina over to her father despite her pleas not to send her home, during which she warned that her father was a temperamental person, and her life was in danger.

Before her death, Romina was systematically and violently abused by her father.

Romina’s mother told the media after her daughter’s death that “He (Romina’s father) had told me many times to teach Romina to hang herself to death. But I did not do that.”

Domestic violence against women in Iran

The debate over domestic violence against women in Iran has been going on for years.

Iran is one of the few countries that does not have a law to combat domestic violence against women.

The regime’s parliament and its Assembly of Experts have created numerous obstacles to the country’s accession to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Only four UN members, one of which is Iran, have not signed the convention. This is while according to the head of the country’s aid association, 40% of domestic violence against women is reported in Iran.

In recent months, in many provinces of Iran, especially in Isfahan, Alborz, Golestan, Ilam, and North Khorasan, officials have reported a 50 percent to 10-fold increase in social emergency calls since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Ill-treatment of women’s rights defenders and prisoners of conscience:

Women’s rights activists have been increasingly targeted in recent years. Long-term prison sentences have been carried out in several cases to protect women’s rights.

In one example, three anti-hijab women activists were sentenced to 55 years and 6 months for failing to wear the Hijab. On July 31, 2019, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced Yasaman Aryani, Monireh Arabshahi, and Mojgan Keshavarz – none of whom had legal representation – to 5 years in prison for “association and collusion against national security;” one year for “disseminating propaganda against the state;” and 10 years for “encouraging and preparing the grounds for corruption and prostitution.” Mojgan Keshavarz received an additional 7.5 years for “insulting the sanctities.”

On the other hand, the inhumane treatment of women in Iranian prisons is shocking.

It is not a question of mistreatment of one or two prisoners. The debate is about systematic atrocities that are being exerted to put more pressure, especially on political prisoners.

It is not a question of mistreatment of one or two prisoners. The debate is about systematic atrocities that are being exerted to put more pressure, especially on political prisoners.

A bill that does not prevent violence against women in Iran

In a theatric measure to silence widespread outcry over such institutionalized misogyny and violence against women in Iran, the Iranian regime’s Judiciary after 8 years of foot-dragging, finally announced on September 17, 2019, that it had approved a VAW bill and passed it on to the government.

Before forwarding the bill to the government, the Judiciary changed the bill’s title to “securing, dignifying, and protecting women from violence”, while completely changing the purpose of the bill and stripping it of any possible effectiveness. A member of the mullahs’ parliament compared the changes to a “toothless lion” which will not solve any of the problems faced by women. “If the bill is passed, the situation for women will be significantly worse,” Parvaneh Salahshori said. “The current bill eliminates the word violence against women and the parts that had addressed women’s security have either been omitted or changed somehow. As a result, the nature of the bill is totally lost. “

The current bill does not initially provide any definitions or frameworks for violence against women that would criminalize and establish a deterrent mechanism and then a punishment. Instead, it has mostly repeated some of the criminal provisions of the Penal Code.

The bill does not contain any executive guarantees, and no credible audit authority. There is also no financial investment to prevent or organize violence and to shelter victims of violence.

After more than one year, however, the Rouhani government has not yet passed the bill to the parliament for final adoption.

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