Iranian authorities have announced plans to install cameras in public places and on streets to identify and punish women who do not wear the hijab, which is a compulsory dress code. In addition, the police have set up hijab enforcement groups on the Tehran metro, and women without the hijab will be denied entry, which could effectively ban some women from work.
This move is part of a larger effort by the government to make Iranian public bodies more responsible for enforcing the hijab. Many Iranian women, especially those in cities, have refused to follow hijab rules, which indicates that the “women, life, freedom” protests of September are continuing in a more individualized manner.
Death of Mahsa Amini
Since the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died in the custody of the so-called “morality police” last September for allegedly violating Iran’s dress code for women, there has been a growing number of Iranian women who have stopped wearing their veils.
Her death sparked a series of anti-government protests by the unveiled women that swept the country for several months, which were met with violent suppression by security forces.
Peace Conditions in Iran
At the same time, girls in secondary schools in Tehran, Karaj, and other cities have reported poison attacks, with at least nine schools being attacked on Sunday.
According to Iranian MP Mohammad Hassan Asefari, a government fact-finding committee found that security agencies were unable to identify the attackers, and the Ministry of Health has not yet determined the nature of the poison being used. This latest proposed crackdown is causing concern among the public.
Public Outrage Against the Decision
Opponents of the government are outraged by the stark contrast between the urgent efforts to enforce the hijab and the failure of investigators to use CCTV to identify those responsible for the poison attacks.
The judiciary has announced that women who do not wear the hijab could face fines of 1 million tomans ($23) if taken to court. In addition, cars in which women are not wearing the hijab will be impounded for 20 days if the driver commits the offense twice.
Hojjat-ul-Islam wal-Muslimin Mohseni Ajei, the head of the court system, declared that he does not support a standard approach because of the sensitivity of the matter.
In a further attempt to rein in increasing numbers of women defying the compulsory dress code, Iranian authorities are installing cameras in public places and thoroughfares to identify and penalize unveiled women.#MahsaAmini #IRGCterrorists #WomanLifeFreedom pic.twitter.com/jb4OonUk2t
— Nick Sotoudeh (@NickSotoudeh) April 9, 2023
Ali Nesai, the general and revolutionary prosecutor for South Khorasan, stated on Sunday that residents of residential complexes have a responsibility to report cases of women breaking the hijab rules. He urged people to report any instances where individuals reject the hijab and openly display their non-compliance to the police.
Nesai emphasized that the head of any government or private organization will be held responsible if any members of their staff remove their hijab. Similarly, if any violations occur in parks, the municipality will be held responsible, and if they happen in universities, the universities will be held accountable.
Iran’s Islamic Sharia Law
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has suggested that the refusal to wear the hijab is linked to the work of enemies and foreign spies.
In accordance with Iran’s Islamic Sharia law, implemented after 1979, women are required to cover their hair and wear loose-fitting clothes that conceal their figures. Many unveiled women who violated the rule have faced public criticism, fines, or even arrests.
On March 30th, an interior ministry statement asserted that no compromise will be made on this issue, describing the hijab as “one of the civilizational foundations of the Iranian nation” and “one of the practical principles of the Islamic Republic.”