Iran: Government Blames Rape Victims for 'provocative dress'

WLUML allies

This is one of those cases where the authorities seem to be blaming the victim for the crime of the perpetrators. Almost 3 weeks ago, a private party in Khomeini Shahr, in Central Iran was attacked by gang members. The gang put all the men in a room, locked them in, and then raped the 12 female attendees in the party. The story quickly became a national scandal and now the authorities say they have set up a "special court"  and a "police task force" to expedite the trial of 14 men who are arrested in relation to this heinous crime. What is shocking, is the statement by some government authorities in this regard: Mr. Mohseni Ejeii, the official Judiciary Spokesman told reports "if the women adhered to Islamic rules [and not attended this mixed party and dressed provocatively], perhaps this crime would have never happened."

Hossein Hosseinzadeh, the head of the Isfahan's Police's Investigative Unit repeated the say logic, saying; "those attended the party were consuming alcohol and the women were not properly dressed. If those women had decent outfit, they may have not been sexually assaulted. "

Hassan Karami Nejad, the head of the Iran's Police Forces told the national TV that "those in the party had a provocative behavior".

But perhaps the most outrageous response came from the local religious authority,  Mr. Musa Salemi. The Friday Prayer Imam of the town where the crime took place told the reporters; "those who were sexually assaulted were not totally innocent either. They came to our town to party, drink alcohol, and have a good time. They should be tried for their action too!"

It should be noted that drinking alcohol and having mixed parties in Iran is considered to be punishable crimes.

Hossein Alizadeh

Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

You can read more about this story here: (unfortunately the text is in Persian only)