DUSHANBE, July 13, Asia-Plus — A court in Dushanbe’s Shohmansour district has dismissed suit filed by Davlatmo Ismoilova, a student at Tajik Institute of Languages, against her institute and the ministry of education (MoE) over headscarf ban.

The court rejected her challenge of the headscarf ban on July 12.  Judge Abdullo Rahmatov, who took in the trial, told Asia-Plus that the case had been dismissed on grounds that Davlatmo Ismoilova and defense lawyer had failed to produce any convincing proofs to support their complaint.  

Ismoilova told journalists that she would appeal.  “” If it is needed, I will appeal in international court,” she said. 

The case is believed to be Tajikistan''s first reported legal challenge to the ban passed earlier this year on Islamic headscarves.  We will recall that just several days after President Emomali Rahmon in March this year ordered a ban on student’s use of cell phones and private cars, the MoE ordered bans on both headscarves and miniskirts for university students.

Davlatmo Ismoilova appealed in the court on May 25, accusing the Institute and the MoE of not allowing her to wear a headscarf to the Institute and thus violating her rights. 

Davlatmo on July 6, when the case began, told journalists that in April, she was not allowed to examinations, because the Institute’s administration has not allowed her to come to the institute in the headscarf justifying it by the mentioned order of the MoE.   

 “This order of the MoE is absolutely unfounded because the RT Law “Education” does not provide for wearing any appropriate clothing for students,” Ismoilova’s defense lawyer Shuhrat Qudratov said in an interview with journalists.  “Before issuing such order it was necessary to make amendments to the education legislation,” the lawyer said.   

Khurshed Ziyoyev, Pro-rector of the Institute of Languages for Studies, noted that in accordance with the country’s Labor Code, the Institute’s trade unions projected a document requiring appropriate clothing for the Institute students and banning both hejab and miniskirts for them.