Campaign’s Letter to Rouhani: Allow Women Spectators to Attend World Volleyball Games in Tehran
Ban on Women Attending Sport Events Violates FIVB and Olympic Committee Rules
From July 1-3, 2016, Iran will host the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Volleyball World League in Tehran. As of this writing, only Iran’s male sports fan will be able to attend the events and cheer on the nations’ team, as women will not be allowed to attend.
The Islamic Republic’s ban on women’s attendance at sports stadium events is in direct violation of the FIVB’s own constitution, which forbids discrimination, as well as the guiding principles of the world’s major international sporting body, the International Olympic Committee.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran urges the Government of Iran to allow female spectators to purchase tickets and attend the July 2016 Volleyball World League games without limitation. Accordingly, the Campaign has written a letter to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, requesting that he use all the powers of his office to ensure this by immediately repealing the ban on women’s attendance at sports stadiums, instructing Iranian volleyball officials to announce publicly how women can buy tickets online and attend the games, and requiring Iranian authorities to issue instructions to security officials and other law enforcement bodies to ensure that women and girls can safely attend the matches.
The full text of the Campaign’s letter to Rouhani is below:
June 7, 2016
Dear President Rouhani,
We would like to extend our congratulations to the Iranian people and to Iran’s national volleyball team for its historic qualification to compete in the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro this summer.
As Iran approaches this historic event, we are writing to address the upcoming July 1-3 FIVB Volleyball World league in Tehran, and to urge Government of Iran to allow female spectators to purchase tickets and attend the July 2016 games without limitation.
The Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) calls for “no discrimination” in the Fundamental Principles of its Constitution.
It is incumbent upon Iran to honor fully the principles governing international sport, clearly set out in the FIVB Constitution, the International Olympic Committee’s Agenda 2020, and the Olympic Charter, including those regarding gender equality and access.
When Iran’s athletes participate in the Olympics in Brazil in August, their athletes will be cheered on by males and females alike from around the world. The inability of female spectators to support Iranian and international athletes when Iran hosts the FIVB World Volleyball League tournament will violate these principles and stain the image and record of the Islamic Republic in the eyes of the international community.
The Olympic Committee’s Agenda 2020, unanimously agreed at the 127th IOC Session in Monaco in December 2014, calls for “gender equality” in its core Recommendations, and for the International Olympic Committee to work with the International Federations to “stimulate women’s participation and involvement in sport by creating more participation opportunities at the Olympic Games.”
The Olympic Charter, in its Fundamental Principles of Olympism, states, “The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Olympic Charter shall be secured without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran will be in the international spotlight as it hosts the FIVB Volleyball World League, showcasing the talents of the athletes and Iran’s commitment to international sport. So too it should showcase its full and robust adherence to the rules and guiding principles of international sports competitions and charters.
We urge you, as president of the Islamic Republic, to use all your capacity and all the powers and authority of your office, to ensure full female participation as spectators in the FIVB Volleyball World League in Tehran this summer by:
- Immediately repealing the ban on women’s attendance at sports stadiums and events in place since 2012 beforethe FIVB World League tournament in July 2016.
- Instructing Iranian Volleyball Federation officials to announce publicly how women can buy tickets online and attend the FIVB World League games.
- Requiring the Iranian authorities to issue instructions to security officials at the games, and to all other law enforcement bodies, to ensure that women and girls can safely attend the matches.
We thank you for your support of Iran’s athletes, Iran’s citizens, and the guiding principles of international sports.