Monday , 27 May 2024

Iran Steps up Hijab Enforcement, Warns Women of Legal Consequences

Iranwire – Law enforcement officials in various Iranian cities have indicated a planned crackdown on citizens protesting the mandatory hijab starting Saturday.

This escalation comes just a day after Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei delivered a speech where he emphasized the importance of fulfilling the hijab enforcers’ duty “faithfully.” 

The exact nature of this duty was not specified.

On Thursday, Tehran police announced stricter enforcement of the mandatory hijab rule from Saturday onward.

A police notice warned Iranian women and girls of “legal consequences” for non-compliance.

They justified the stricter enforcement as necessary to “uphold moral values and national and religious norms.”

The Bushehr police followed suit, announcing increased enforcement of the “hijab plan” in all public areas starting Saturday. 

They stated they would take “legal action” against violators.

An anonymous source in an interview with IranWire attributed the planned crackdown to rising temperatures. 

The source said, “The increased heat is predictable. Tehran has been unusually hot these past few days, forcing some places to turn on air conditioners early. Historically, stricter hijab enforcement coincides with the beginning of the hot season.”

Another Tehran resident reported harassment by both uniformed and plainclothed officers for not wearing the stipulated attire. 

She said, “Metro officers warned me, and when I objected, they resorted to insulting and filming me.”

She added, “In Valiasr Square, uniformed police on motorcycles film women not wearing hijabs in public. Traffic police stop and search female drivers’ cars without justification. It’s clear they’re trying to instill fear.”

IranWire also received reports of stricter regulations imposed on university students, particularly women, following the end of the Nowruz and Ramadan holidays and the reopening of universities.

Students at Al-Zahra University encountered newly installed facial recognition gates at main entrances. 

A student reported mandatory use of these gates even when leaving the university. 

These measures come despite ongoing student protests regarding inadequate dormitory facilities, poor-quality cafeteria food, and the lack of budget for improvements. 

All women in Iran are required to wear a headscarf and loose-fitting trousers under their coats in public.

However, a growing number of women have appeared in public without a headscarf since months-long protests erupted in September 2022 following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody.

Amini had been arrested in Tehran for allegedly wearing her headscarf “improperly.”