25 People Arrested at Mixed-Gender Party in Iran
Twenty-five women and men were arrested at a private party near the Iranian city of Gorgan, Golestan Province, on April 19, 2019, judicial authorities announced.
“They were arrested at a mixed [gender)] party,” said Reza Seyed-Hosseini, Gorgan’s city prosecutor. “They did not have appropriate [Islamic] clothing and were consuming alcohol.”
“The judicial official on watch ordered the arrest after receiving a tip from one of the people that the party was at a villa on Naharkhoran Rd,” he added.
The prosecutor stated that law enforcement agents discovered “tens of liters of homemade alcohol and several bottles of foreign alcohol brands” at the villa.
Alcohol and mixed-gender parties involving unmarried women and men are illegal in Iran but the law regarding mixed-gender parties is arbitrarily enforced.
Iranian authorities periodically launch crackdowns to discourage parties and sometimes make arrests. Arrested partygoers are usually only briefly detained but could also be charged.
In late January 2019, the police arrested 72 people at a private party in the city of Sari, Mazandaran province.
The city’s prosecutor, Hossein Alemi, accused the detainees of consuming alcohol and “violating Islamic morals” at a house where the owner had been allegedly convicted of crimes involving gambling.
At the time, Alemi said the accused were going to be put on trial. But there is no indication that the partygoers were ever tried.
In November 2018, the police arrested 50 men and women at a mixed-gender party in Maragheh, East Azerbaijan Province. They were also accused of drinking alcohol and not wearing proper attire in accordance with Iran’s Islamic laws.
Prior to his first-term election campaign in 2013, President Hassan Rouhani promised less policing of people’s personal lives but has failed to reign in hardliners who support the policy and dominate the country’s security forces.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting in April 2016, Rouhani said, “We have no right to interfere in people’s private and public lives.”
“You cannot limit people’s freedoms with decrees or arbitrary actions by individuals and institutions,” he added.
During a speech marking Iran’s “Judiciary Appreciation Week” in June 2016, the president said, “The people should feel that their public rights and freedoms are respected. That’s one of the judiciary’s explicit constitutional duties. It should strive to protect people’s rights and spread justice and freedom.”