Iran police cracking down on women who break hijab rules

TEHRAN, 11 Jan 2023:

Iran’s judiciary yesterday instructed the police to “firmly punish” women who refuse to wear the hijab headscarf, which is obligatory in public.

The prosecutor’s office said in a statement that disregarding hijab enforcement – introduced four years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution – is one of the “most evident crimes,” the semi-official news agency Mehr reported.

Iran’s judiciary said women who fail to wear the headscarf properly might be subjected to exile, prohibited from work, banned from leaving the country or forced to do community service.

Under the current law, hijab violations can carry penalties that range from 10 days to two months of imprisonment.

The threat of hardening the rules comes four months after a wave of violent protests started in the country following the death of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini while in police custody for allegedly not wearing her headscarf in accordance with Iran’s strict Islamic dress code.

Since the social unrest began, more and more Iranian women are venturing into the streets without the veil – in a gesture of defiance and civil disobedience that would have been unthinkable months ago.

In December, Iranian authorities signalled the so-called morality police, responsible for the detention of Amini, would be disbanded but stressed that moral laws would remain in place and only the methods of enforcing these rules would change.

The obligatory headscarf is one of the most ubiquitous symbols of the Islamic Republic founded by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Nearly 500 people have been killed and close to 20,000 detained in the state crackdown on the protests, according to Norway-based Iran Human Rights NGO.

An Iranian revolutionary court yesterday sentenced a prisoner to death for his role in the protests rocking the country.

A total of 17 people have been sentenced to death by hanging over their roles in the anti-regime uprising, four of whom have already been executed.

Javad Rouhi was sentenced for “leading” a group of “rioters” in December in “riots” in the northern city of Noshahr, in clashes that left five people dead and several security personnel injured, according to Mizan news agency.

Due to his “leadership” role in the protests, Rouhi has been sentenced for committing crimes against the country’s security, destruction of property and collusion to commit crimes.

In addition, he has been sentenced for committing apostasy by burning the Quran.