Iran: Officials Blame Women for Provoking Rape
Monday, June 20, 2011 11:10 AM

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Radio Farda reports that Iran’s chief prosecutor Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei has confirmed that fourteen men have been arrested and charged for alleged gang rapes at a party in Khomeini Shahr last month. The men allegedly crashed the party near the city of Isfahan, locked all the male guests in a room and then raped the female attendees.


The event has sparked a public response from officials and prominent leaders that blames the victims of the rape for provoking the men. The chief of the police department’s detective bureau in Isfahan, Colonel Hossein Hosseinzadeh, was quoted saying, “If the women at the party had worn their hijab properly, they might not have been persecuted”.  A religious leader in Khomeini Shahr also spoke out against the victims saying that because the women were “drinking wine and dancing” that they “provoked” the rapists, and therefore the women’s crimes should be investigated as well.


A “moral security” campaign was initiated in Tehran on June 13 to address the “improper” wearing of the hijab. Ahmad Reza Radan, the police deputy commander, said that women will be persecuted for wearing tight clothes or showing hair from under a head scarf.


Sociologist Mehrdad Darvishpour spoke out against the recent events on Radio Farda saying: "The police blatantly tell women that in the event they are raped, they will have no support, and it tells men that they are allowed to rape any woman whose dress they find 'tempting' and whose hijab is not as the police would like it to be."



Compiled from: Iranian Police, Cleric Blame Victims in Isfahan Gang Rapes, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, (14 June 2011).