May 22, 2019

Refusal to Vacinate an Infant by the health Clinic of Colombo Municipal Council because mother was wearing black long frock ( Abaya) and a headscarf

- Written by Muheed Jeeran -

In Islam, women wear hijab as a form of modesty and respectability. However, the headscarf existed for centuries before Islam. In monotheistic religions, the headscarf symbolized freedom and virtue for women, and noble women covered their hair. Although a Christian nun wearing a headscarf is viewed as an image of sincere religious piety, a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf is often viewed as a symbol of oppression. This typical  attitude is now currently reflecting against the Muslim women dress code in Sri Lanka. 

Appalling to hear on various occasions Muslim women were harassed intentionally by the health officials of various health clinics of Colombo Municipal Council. After 21/4 Easter Attack, Muslim women dress code is a pure target by the government officers though the law of this land is not barring the Muslim Women's dress  code except anything  covering her face. 

Do these government officers carry out this appalling dirty tactics purposefully or unwillingly? Eitherway these officers are seriously violating the article 10 and 12 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

A very good example on last year Europe’s top human rights court has ruled that a Belgian court violated Hagar Lachiri’s freedom of religion by ordering her to take off her headscarf before she attended a court hearing. 

No one has the rights to interfere with the religious freedom of an individual. Dress code is the freedom of choice of a woman. In the name of national security you have no rights to opress an individual's religious freedom. There is a clear instruction given by HRC to the government in order to follow during the emergency regulation. A government officer violating the human rights mean he or she is pulling a trouble that could end up in foregoing
their pension rights. 

I received a call from a poor mother of an infant baby today. She was very upset as her local clinic in Colombo 5 was refused to vaccinate her infant baby. The reason for the refusal that the mother was wearing the black long frock ( Abaya) and a head scarf. What a pathetic and idiotic medical staff who failed to treat this infant. This mother of the baby agreed to remove her head scarf only as she can't remove her long frock due to lack of internal dress. But still the staffs were adament and she went to the head nurse to get her approval. She told the situation to the head nurse and unfortunately she also refused to support her. 

This young and living below the poverty line mother was trying to convince the head nurse that she has the MOD document stating black Abaya and head scarf are not banned. She also told her that the last time she visited on 22nd May and never had this issue. She was begging her but the head nurse was not interested to listen to her grievances and said that they received a circular from the Colombo Municipal Council about the baning of these dress codes. Finally she has to return home with dissapointment and the intention of getting the vaccination by next week. 

So if the circular is true then there should be a serious question to be raised against the Commissioner and Chief Medical Officer of Colombo Municipal Council,  as their circular is clearly violating these Muslim Women's fundamental rights. 

This is not just an isolated case rather this is a tip of the iceberg. The CMC High officials are clearly accountable for failing to monitor these violations against innocent and poor Muslim mothers. I am strongly urging the CMC authority to take immediate and stern action against their subordinates. Otherwise there is a clear possibility of these affected mothers being forced to take legal action against the high officials for violating their rights, which could affect those government servants' career too. I hope to see a positive response from the CMC on this issue. 

Muheed Jeeran 
International Human Rights Activist
Sri Lanka Forward With Jeeran

1 கருத்துரைகள்:

This act is deplorable and government must take stern action against these officers. This poor lady was treated inhumanly because of her dress. Muslim politician must take up this matter with higher authorities.

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