In Iran, more than 300 arrests have been made over the past month as authorities have amped up surveillance efforts to enforce the nation’s stringent dress code which necessitates women to wear a hijab in public places. In addition to the arrests, nearly a million text message “warnings” have been sent to women caught without a hijab while in a car, according to police command representative Sardar Al Mahdi.
Escalation in Enforcement
Last month, authorities unveiled a new smart surveillance program aimed at intensifying the enforcement of Tehran’s strict dress code. The move was in response to the potent anti-regime protests that followed the death of Mahsa Amini, who died while in the custody of morality police.
Alarmingly, surveillance cameras are now being installed to spot women who neglect the dress code while in vehicles. Such stern measures have significantly heightened concerns about women’s rights in Iran.
The increased surveillance has been particularly noticeable following the massive protests sparked by Ms. Amini’s death. Iranian universities are now authorised to deny entry to students not adhering to the hijab dress code.
Moreover, state-affiliated media have increasingly been broadcasting content promoting the hijab and chastity. In May, Tehran’s metro declared the establishment of a security unit designed to prevent women without a hijab from boarding trains.
Consequences for Non-compliance
Women found defying the rules a second time will have their vehicles seized and will face court charges on a third occasion, warned Mr. Mahdi. Moreover, shops that fail to address customers not adhering to the dress code will also be closed.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has long mandated that women cover their hair and wear loose, long clothes to hide their figures under its interpretation of Sharia, implemented after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
- Iranian police have made over 300 arrests in the past month to enforce the country’s strict dress code.
- Nearly a million text message “warnings” have been sent to women seen without a hijab in a car.
- The escalated surveillance followed last autumn’s anti-regime protests prompted by the death of Mahsa Amini in morality police custody.
- Concerns over women’s rights have grown with the installation of surveillance cameras to detect dress code violations.
- Universities can now bar students not wearing the hijab, and shops can be shut down for turning a blind eye to non-compliant customers.
- Repeat offenders face potential vehicle confiscation, court charges, and closure of their businesses.