STORY: OHCHR Comment on Iran Hijab Enforcement
TRT: 3 min 09s
SOURCE: UNTV CH
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
DATELINE: 20 September 2022 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
1: SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Ravina Shamdasani, OHCHR: “Good morning, everyone. You should have received a press release at around 10.30am on this from our Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif. We are alarmed at the death in custody of Mahsa Amini- detained by Iran’s “morality police” enforcing strict hijab rules - and the violent response by security forces to ensuing protests. Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman from the Kurdish minority, was with her brother in Tehran when she was arrested on 13 September for what was perceived to be “improper” hijab. She fell into a coma shortly after collapsing at Vozara Detention Centre. Mahsa Amini ,who also goes by the Kurdish name Jhina, died three days later.
There are reports that Mahsa Amini was beaten on the head with a baton, and her head was banged against the vehicle by the so-called morality police. Authorities have stated that she died of natural causes.
Acting High Commissioner for human rights, Nada Al-Nashif, has called for an investigation, ‘A prompt, thorough, impartial investigation.’ Mahsa Amini’s tragic death and allegations of torture and ill-treatment must be promptly, impartially and effectively investigated by an independent competent authority, that ensures, in particular, that her family has access to justice and truth.
Compulsory veiling laws remain of concern in Iran, where appearing in public without a hijab is punishable by imprisonment.
In recent months, the so-called morality police have expanded street patrols, subjecting women perceived to be wearing “loose hijab” to verbal and physical harassment and arrest. Our office has received numerous, and verified, videos of violent treatment of women, including slapping women across the face, beating them with batons and throwing them into police vans.
The authorities must stop targeting, harassing and detaining women who do not abide by the hijab rules. Nada Al-Nashif is calling for the repeal of all discriminatory laws and regulations that impose mandatory hijab.
Thousands have taken to the streets in a number of cities across the country, including in Tehran, Isfahan, Karaj, Mashhad, Rasht, Saqqes and Sanandaj, in protests against Mahsa Amini’s death. Security forces have reportedly responded with live ammunition, pellet guns and teargas. At least two people have reportedly been killed and several injured, and a number have been arrested.
Nada Al-Nashif condemns the reported unnecessary or disproportionate use of force against protesters, and called on Iran - as a State party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights - to respect the right to peacefully exercise freedom of expression, association and assembly.
The Acting High Commissioner also echoed past deep concerns of the UN Secretary-General about the ongoing repression of women human rights defenders who object to compulsory veiling and the response of the authorities to protests against compulsory veiling.”
The acting High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif expressed alarm on Tuesday at the death in custody in Iran of a woman after she was detained for wearing an “improper” hijab.
Mahsa Amini was arrested a week ago by Iran’s “morality police” in Teheran. The 22-year-old, whose Kurdish name is Jhina - fell into a coma shortly after collapsing at a detention centre, and died three days later, officially of a heart attack.
In Geneva, spokesperson for the UN rights office, Ravina Shamdasani, said that there was also deep concern at the violent response of Iran’s security forces to protests sparked by Ms. Amini’s death:
“Thousands have taken to the streets in a number of cities across the country, including in Tehran, Isfahan, Karaj, Mashhad, Rasht, Saqqes and Sanandaj, in protests against Amini’s death. Security forces have reportedly responded with live ammunition, pellet guns and teargas. At least two people have reportedly been killed and several injured, and a number have been arrested.”
Ms. Shamdasani also noted with concern that legislation had been passed in Iran allowing police to send text messages to women in their cars, telling them to not to take off their hijabs while driving.