Iranian Police Crack Down on Women Defying Hijab Enforcement

The police commander in Tehran emphasized that those who have not complied with previous warnings will face special attention and will be pursued

The Iranian police announced on Saturday that they have tightened their control over the enforcement of the compulsory hijab for women in public places, expressing regret that non-compliance is increasing.

Tehran Police Chief General Abbas Ali Mohammadian warned via television that “the police in Tehran, as in other provinces, will intervene against individuals who promote not wearing the hijab.”

Following the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the law required all women, regardless of nationality or religious beliefs, to wear a headscarf covering their head and neck.

However, the number of women refusing to wear the hijab in public places has increased, especially after the protests sparked by the death of the young Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini (22 years old) on September 16, after being detained by the morality police in Tehran on charges of violating dress codes.

General Mohammadian added that women “who have not complied with previous police warnings will face special attention and will be pursued.”

This crackdown comes just days after a speech by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in which he stated that all women must adhere to wearing the hijab regardless of their beliefs.

“He emphasized that the hijab issue has now become a challenge imposed on our country, and it is a problem that did not exist before,” blaming foreigners, especially Westerners, for supporting women who refuse to wear the hijab.

The spread of the morality police, which arrested Mahsa Amini since the September 2022 protests, has diminished, but the authorities have not officially abolished this unit.

The Iranian regime has severely suppressed the protests, during which hundreds of people were killed, and thousands were arrested, with dozens of them sentenced to death, including a large number on charges of killing security personnel or attacking them, according to the judiciary.

Local media in recent months have reported that the police have seized vehicles carrying women who violated the law and imposed fines on their owners, and the authorities have closed cafes and restaurants where employees or customers did not comply with wearing the hijab.

In September last year, the Iranian parliament passed a law imposing harsh penalties of up to ten years in prison and heavy fines on women who violate the strict dress codes imposed on them.

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