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Iran: Information on whether Azeri folkloric dances are currently illegal, whether they were illegal in 1988 and whether men, if they do so without women, can legally perform such dancing now

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 January 1995
Citation / Document Symbol IRN19328.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Iran: Information on whether Azeri folkloric dances are currently illegal, whether they were illegal in 1988 and whether men, if they do so without women, can legally perform such dancing now, 1 January 1995, IRN19328.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ac7832.html [accessed 28 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

According to a representative of the Iranian Association in Toronto, the Islamic government of Iran banned folkloric dances when it came to power (17 Jan. 1995). However, it has apparently lifted that ban as there has recently been a folkloric dance festival in Iran (ibid.). The representative does not know when the ban was lifted.

The source adds that men and women are not allowed to perform dances, including folkloric dances, together. Although men can perform folkloric dances in public performances, women are not allowed to do so unless they perform for a female audience (ibid.).

A representative of the Foundation for Iranian Studies in Bethesda, Maryland, is not certain whether folkloric dances have been banned in Iran since the 1979 revolution (17 Jan. 1995). However, the representative states that there has recently been a folkloric dance festival in Iran (ibid.). The representative presumes the dancers to have been male dancers given that, regardless of the type of dances, men and women have not been permitted to dance together in public places since 1979 (ibid).

Although not directly related to the above-mentioned subjects, the following information might be useful. Referring to a degree of social openness in 1991, the attached Inter Press Service report states:

[b]ans on folk music and Iran's classical poet Firdaus[i] are being cautiously lifted amid acknowledgment of their uniqueness in the making of the Persian identity which was not perceived during the revolutionary revulsion against any vestiges of monarchy (26 Apr. 1991).

Sources currently available to the DIRB do not provide information on whether Azeri folkloric dances were prohibited in 1988.

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find attached the list of sources consulted in researching this information request.

References

Foundation for Iranian Studies, Bethesda, Md. 17 January 1995. Telephone interview with representative.

Inter Press Service. 26 April 1991. Rajiv Tiwari. "Iran: Desire for Change Revealed in Time of Crisis and War." (NEXIS)

Iranian Association, Toronto. 17 January 1995. Telephone interview with representative.

Attachment

Inter Press Service. 26 April 1991. Rajiv Tiwari. "Iran: Desire for Change Revealed in Time of Crisis and War." (NEXIS)

Sources Consulted

Amnesty International Report 1979. 1979.

Amnesty International Report 1980. 1980.

Amnesty International Report 1989. 1989.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1979. 1980.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1988. 1989.

On-line search of articles.

Oral sources.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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