Deflecting accusations of gross violations of Iran's constitution against its people, President Ebrahim Raisi has stressed the country's constitutional commitment to Gaza.
Speaking at the 'Responsibility of Implementing the Constitution' conference on Sunday, Raisi stated that “supporting the oppressed is a fundamental duty outlined in the constitution", defending Gaza a tool to undermine its archenemy, Israel. Amidst the war in Gaza, triggered by Iran-backed Hamas's invasion of Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 mostly civilians and taking 240 more hostage, the regime's focus on Gaza has irked many who say it has abandoned its own people.
In September, lawmakers affiliated with the ultra-hardliner Paydari Party ratified the "Protection of Family Through Promotion of Hijab and Chastity Culture" bill as crackdowns on the mandatory hijab worsens. The legislation proposes penalties, including substantial fines, for women who do not adhere to the compulsory dress code, a policy that sparked nationwide protests.
During the protests following the death in morality police custody of Mahsa Amini, Iranians en mass have rejected the regime's hijab policy, which many argue is not in line with the constitution.
Raisi's reliance on the constitution contrasts with the backdrop of over 500 deaths caused by regime agents during the protests, along with thousands being arrested and tortured without access to a fair trial or legal representation.
The right to protest is recognized in Article 27 of the Iranian Constitution but various Iranian governments in the past four decades have refused to uphold this right and respect the Constitutional Law.
The human rights situation in Iran continues to raise concerns across various domains, continually violating the constitutional safeguards, as has been highlighted by international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Key areas of concern include freedom of expression, political repression, religious freedom, capital punishment, treatment of minorities, arbitrary detention, and LGBTQ+ rights.