What is the legal status of prostitution in Iran?
Prostitution is illegal in Iran and is considered a criminal offense. The country follows strict Islamic law, and the Iranian penal code imposes severe punishments for those involved in prostitution activities. However, despite the strict laws, the practice of prostitution still exists in the country, albeit underground and in secret.
What are the laws, penalties, and law enforcement measures regarding prostitution in Iran?
Iran’s penal code is based on Islamic Sharia law, which categorizes prostitution-related offenses into several categories, including:
- Adultery (Zina): Involves engaging in sexual relations outside of a legal marriage. The punishment for adultery ranges from flogging to death by stoning, depending on the marital status of the accused.
- Pimping: Recruiting, facilitating, or promoting prostitution is a crime punishable by imprisonment, flogging, and/or fines.
- Operating a brothel: Those who run or manage a brothel can face imprisonment, flogging, and fines.
- Procuring: The act of procuring or soliciting a person for the purpose of prostitution is punishable by imprisonment and/or flogging.
Law enforcement agencies in Iran are responsible for combating prostitution and enforcing the related laws. This includes the Iranian police, the Revolutionary Guards, and the Basij militia, who carry out regular raids on suspected brothels and arrest those involved in prostitution activities.
How is prostitution referred to locally in Iran?
In Iran, prostitution is often referred to as Sigheh or temporary marriage. This is a type of short-term marriage contract in which the duration and dowry are specified. While the practice of temporary marriage is legally recognized and sanctioned by some religious authorities, it is often criticized as a cover for prostitution.
What is the history of prostitution in Iran?
Prostitution has been a part of Iranian society for centuries, with historical accounts of the practice dating back to the pre-Islamic era. However, the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979 led to a crackdown on prostitution and the implementation of strict Islamic laws. During the 1980s and 1990s, the Iranian government launched a series of campaigns to combat prostitution, including public awareness programs and the establishment of rehabilitation centers for sex workers.
In recent years, the issue of prostitution has become more visible in Iran, with reports of increasing numbers of sex workers operating underground. This has led to a renewed debate about the legality and morality of prostitution in the country, with some calling for the decriminalization of the practice, while others advocate for stricter enforcement of existing laws.
For more information on the legality of prostitution in Iran, the following resources may be helpful:
- Islamic Penal Code of Iran (Book Five): This document outlines the various laws and punishments related to prostitution and other sexual offenses in Iran.
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Country Profile: Iran: This profile provides an overview of the legal framework and law enforcement efforts related to prostitution and human trafficking in Iran.
- U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices: Iran: This annual report provides information on the human rights situation in Iran, including issues related to prostitution and sex trafficking.
- Justice for Iran: Trafficking and Smuggling Reports: This organization investigates human rights abuses in Iran, including cases related to prostitution and human trafficking.