Iranwire – The café that was the workplace of Nika Shakarami, a 16-year-old victim of the bloody crackdown on last year’s nationwide protests, was shut down for a second time for catering to women without hijab.
Mohammad Nabi Mousavi-Fard, the Friday Imam of Ahvaz, has supported the closure of all businesses that provide services to women without hijab.
Civil resistance to mandatory headscarf rules has continued since national police commander General Ahmad Reza Radan on April 15 threatened violators with intensified legal actions.
It seems that such closures are the only measure that the Islamic Republic has been able to effectively implement in dealing with women who refuse to abide by hijab rules.
A restaurant in Tehran’s Lavasan district was closed on May 31 by the order of the Public Places Department, according to information posted on social media. In a short note on Instagram, Hizomix Restaurant announced that its branch in Lavasan was shut down for a second time due to failure to observe hijab rules.
Despite increasing harassment by the Public Places Department and the police force, a large number of business owners continue to provide services to violators of the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code, and this has made officials increasingly angry.
On June 3, Osteria Café in Tehran’s Markiz business center announced on its Instagram page: “The lights of the house have gone out until further notice.”
Godar House, a café on Tehran’s Revolution Street, also announced on its Instagram page it had been closed down: “Dear friends: unfortunately, due to the order of the Public Places Department and the edict for non-compliance with the rules, we are forced not to welcome you for a few days. Until we meet again!”
This café was the workplace of 16-year-old Nika Shakarami, who was killed by security forces during protests on the evening of September 20. The same café was shut down on the 40th day of Shekarami’s death.
Social media users have reported that at least six cafés, coffee houses and restaurants were closed in the central city of Qom on June 1.
According to a statement by Qom’s Police Command, these businesses were sealed overnight by police patrols accompanied by a representative of the Qom Prosecutor’s Office. During this operation, two cafés, two coffee houses and two restaurants were shut down for “actions contrary to Islamic norms.”
In the city of Babol in the northern province of Mazandaran, 27 businesses have received notices and warnings from the police because they have carried out “unconventional propaganda along with the removal of hijab in cyberspace.”
This probably meant that these businesses had posted ads and/or pictures online showing women without hijab.
In late May, there were reports that the Golshan cinema complex in the north-eastern city of Mashhad was sealed by the Public Places Department. The order was issued by Mashhad’s prosecutor under the so-called “hijab and chastity project.”
Meanwhile, Friday Prayers imams and preachers in multiple cities called on the judiciary and police force to continue their crackdown and to deny “social services to the opponents of mandatory hijab.”
On June 2, the Friday Imam of the southwestern city of Ahvaz supported the closure of all businesses providing services to women without hijab. Mohammad Nabi Mousavi-Fard, who is also Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s representative in Ahvaz, also said that “individuals without hijab should be denied public services.”
“Only in this way is it possible to control the lack of hijab in society,” he added.
Iranians who oppose mandatory hijab rules have posted on social media the names of businesses that refuse to provide services to women without head covering, as well as the names of businesses that have been shut down.