For over 45 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has consistently infringed on a fundamental human right: choosing one’s clothing. This choice embodies the core principles of personal autonomy and freedom of expression. By dictating “Islamic clothing” as the primary dress code, the Islamic Republic has marginalized and oppressed those who do not conform, stripping them of political, educational, social, and cultural opportunities.
The Morality Police, a state-sanctioned institution, has been at the forefront of this oppression, systematically persecuting women. The tragic murder of Mahsa (Gina) Amini by the regime is a stark reminder of these oppressions. On the eve of the anniversary of her tragic death, the state continues to intensify its efforts to impose the mandatory hijab, implementing a string of repressive measures. In the past year alone, these measures have resulted in the unjust closure of businesses, denial of social services to women, unfounded court mandates, unwarranted car seizures, violent arrests, and abhorrent mistreatment of those opposing the mandatory hijab.
Claiming adherence to the principles of Islamic Sharia, the Islamic Republic persists in enacting laws that perpetuate gender-based violence and discrimination. The proposed “Hijab and Chastity” bill, designed to “support families through the promotion of the culture of chastity and hijab,” is the regime’s latest endeavor. Not only does this bill starkly contradict essential human rights, particularly the rights of women and the principle against gender discrimination, but it also poses serious legal concerns. It breaches the privacy of its citizens, delegates undue legal interpretation power to the police, and conflicts with the principle that crime and punishment are individual matters.
Furthermore, the “Hijab and Chastity” bill’s intent remains dubious. Ostensibly drafted to penalize those opposing the mandatory hijab, the bill proposes severe penalties, including imprisonment and hefty fines.
The framework of the Islamic Republic is underpinned by the subjugation and double exploitation of women, coupled with the denial of their basic rights. Gershad fervently denounces the systematic repression and violence perpetuated by the Islamic Republic and demands the disbandment of all oppressive entities, including the Morality Police and followers of ‘Amr-be-Maruf’ (religious edict “promote virtue and prevent vice”). We urge the immediate repeal of all laws that marginalize and oppress women.
Recognizing the profound implications of the mandatory hijab, which extends beyond women alone, Gershad calls upon the global community, human rights activists, and organizations championing women’s rights and the rights of gender and sexual minorities: Stand with us. Lend your voice to this cause. Through signing this petition, declare your opposition to the transgressions of the Islamic Republic of Iran.