March 10, 2011

 “You Dress According to Their Rules”

Enforcement of an Islamic Dress Code for Women in Chechnya

Map of Chechnya
I. Background
The Rise and Role of Ramzan Kadyrov in Chechnya
Headscarves and the Evolution of the “Campaign for Female Virtue” under Kadyrov’s Rule
Unwritten rules on headscarves: from public institutions to public space
International Response
International, European, and Domestic Legal Standards
II. Enforcing Islamic Dress Code in Chechnya through Attacks and Harassment of Women
June 2010: Paintball Attacks
Harassment and Additional Pressure during Ramadan and Beyond
Response by Russia’s Federal Authorities and Reaction of Chechen Officials
III. Recommendations
To the Government of the Russian Federation
To the State Duma of the Russian Federation
To the United Nations
To Russia’s International Partners
To the Council of Europe
Appendix: Questions and Answers on Restrictions on Religious Dress and Symbols in Europe

This report is dedicated to the memory of our friend and colleague, Natasha Estemirova, who encouraged Human Rights Watch to carry out this research and whom we would have been honored to work with on it if not for her murder in July 2009.