The right to wear or not to wear??

Recently, amensty international and Hunam Rights Watch have issued statements condemning the ban on Berque (full face cover) by some Muslem women who live in Belgium and Austria. According to them the ban violates human rights of those women who choose to wear the burque. As Shadi Sadr (Iranian lawyer and human rightgs activist) wrote in an article regarding this stand, one wonders why amnesty and Humnan Rights Watch have never taken a stand against the forced veiling of the Iranian women in the past 30 years.

After the downfall of the Shah and the return of Ayatollah Khomeini to Iran and declaring Iran an Islamic state, the first statement he issued in 1979 advised women to wear the Islamic dress. Then thousands of women took to the streets to object to the decree. The objection of women has continued to this date and those Iranian women whose human rights has systematically been violated and abused  have never found support among the  international human rights family on this specific issue which has ironically been  very close to their heart. Iranian women. Generations after generation of Iranian women have fought against the forced veiling and have been harassed, detained, fined, fired from work, deprived from studying at the universities for 'improper veiling', a matter which is their basic human rights to choose the dress they want to wear.

The Iranian government has over years spent billions on organisations and para-military establishments to force women wear what they see proper dress code. Millions of Iranian women have over years refused to accept the forced  veiling and have demonstrated their willingness to pay the price to protect their human rights. Now that human rights organisations are taking a stand in support of  a small number of women who live in the West but follow their own tradition of wearing the burque,  Iranian women expect these organisations which have continuously supported Iranians in their fight against violation of their rights, to specificloy raise their voice against the continued forced veiling. End


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