Identify, interdict, instruct: Iranian authorities find new ways to regulate Hijab laws

Following the death of the 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of Iran’s morality police last September, a plethora of women in the country have protested against the authorities’ orders, stormed the streets, and removed their headscarves in public.

To combat the rising uproar, Iranian authorities have decided to install cameras in public spaces to identify and penalize women not following the compulsory dress code. The violators will receive “warning text messages as to the consequences”, a police statement read. The move is aimed at “preventing resistance against the hijab law,” it added.

After the violators have been identified, they will receive “warning text messages as to the consequences”, police said in a statement. The is aimed at “preventing resistance against the hijab law,” said the statement, carried by the judiciary’s Mizan news agency.

In historical context, Iran’s official law dictates that women and girls as young as seven must wear a hijab which places approximately 40 million under constant surveillance since its introduction after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The police also urged citizens to confront unveiled women. The police statement also instructed business owners to “seriously monitor the observance of societal norms with their diligent inspections.” Describing the veil as “one of the civilizational foundations of the Iranian nation” and “one of the practical principles of the Islamic Republic,” an Interior Ministry statement on March 30 stated.

Although the arrest warrant rate is high, Iranian women are still walking around bareheaded in malls, restaurants, shops, and streets around the country. 

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