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Parliamentary questions
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29 January 2020
E-000519/2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Silvia Sardone
 Subject: Commission’s position on the Islamic headscarf

Over the past few days, the press has been reporting the case of Shohreh Bayat, a chess referee photographed at a prestigious world tournament without wearing a headscarf.

Unfortunately, in Iran this caused great controversy, and she was fiercely attacked. She defended herself by saying that women should have the right to decide what to wear, and not be forced to wear certain things.

Now she is scared to return home, fearing that she will be sent to prison.

Several months ago, a female Iranian lawyer and women’s rights activist was sentenced to 33 years in prison and 148 lashes. What was her crime? She had taken on the legal defence of some women who had been arrested for publicly protesting against the headscarf requirement. In Iran, but in other Muslim countries too, there are an increasing number of cases of women who decide to refrain from wearing the headscarf, thereby risking imprisonment and heavy punishment.

Can the Commission therefore answer the following questions:

What is its position on the Islamic headscarf?

What is its attitude to countries such as Iran, where women end up in prison if they dare to remove their headscarves or speak out against this form of submission?

Does it intend to launch any awareness-raising campaigns against the imposition of the wearing of headscarves among women in Muslim communities?

Original language of question: IT
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