right to file a complaint, and witnesses could be rare to find, the judge's knowledge plays a
decisive role in determining whether a crime occurred, as well as guilt. In order to reach a
decision, the judge must use all the documents, including the police report, the forensic report,
and the statements of the plaintiff and the accused, to make a decision.4
However, as it is difficult to ascertain the clear definition of a judge’s “knowledge” in various
situations and judges often have a broad jurisdiction in this regard, its use in judicial decisions is
largely arbitrary. For this reason, although presenting witnesses to prove a woman’s innocence is
not the only available avenue, all other resources can be considered ineffective.
During its last Universal Periodic Review (November 2019), the Government of the Islamic
Republic of Iran stated that the Act on Protection, Dignity and Security of Women against
Violence, will be “aimed at criminalising new forms of assault, harassment and violations of the
rights of women and adopting preventive and support measures to stop violence against
women.”5 In January 2020, the UN Secretary General expressed concerns about the slow
progress of the bill, which has been under review since 20106 and as of February 2021, is under
the review of the Iranian Parliament.7 The draft bill will then need to be vetted by the Guardian
Council.
The Secretary General also noted that “critical articles were reportedly removed from the initial
proposal of the Executive, including provisions protecting women from various forms of
violence and criminalizing domestic violence.”8 9 As of early February 2021, the available draft
of the law10 suggests that the text may be insufficient to protect women in Iran from
discriminations and violence. Even though the draft law may bring positive developments, it will
remain limited by the Civil Code11, the Family Law12, and the Islamic Penal Code13, which
contain provisions effectively discriminating against women and fail to protect them adequately
from violence.14
Recommendation Status:
This recommendation has been PARTIALLY implemented.
4

Article 211, 212 and 213 of Islamic Penal Code: https://shenasname.ir/subjects/salamat/1571-mojazat92
Universal Periodic Review, Iran, 2019, https://undocs.org/A/HRC/43/12
6
Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights, Centre for Supporters of Human Rights and Minority Rights Group International
September 2019, https://www.justice.gov/eoir/page/file/1203136/download
7
New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/05/world/middleeast/iran-sexual-violence-metoo-women.html
8
Report of the Secretary General, Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 2020,
https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/IR/Report_of_the_SecretaryGeneral_on_the_situation_of_human_rights_in_the_Islamic_Republic_of_IranA4320.pdf
9
See Radio Farda https://en.radiofarda.com/a/new-watered-down-draft-law-on-violence-against-women-iniran/30173089.html ;
and ISNA www.isna.ir/news/98071612729/ (in Farsi).
10
https://shenasname.ir/laws/7023
11
The Civil Code: https://shenasname.ir/laws/6664
12
The Family Law: https://shenasname.ir/subjects/family/1470
13
The Islamic Penal Code: https://shenasname.ir/subjects/salamat/1571-mojazat92
14
This information is up-to-date and accurate as of early February 2021. For more up to date information on the passage of this
bill, please click the following link: http://www.impactiran.org/vawbill
5

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