Iran enforcing ‘intensified’ hijab crackdown

Rights group says

Iranian authorities have in the last months launched an intensified crackdown against women deemed to have violated the Islamic republic’s strict dress rules, Amnesty International said yesterday.

Iran was convulsed for months by unprecedented protests sparked by the September 2022 custody death of Mahsa Amini, 22, who had been arrested by the morality police for purportedly breaking the rules.

With the intensity of protests diminishing over the last months, Amnesty said Iranian authorities had launched a new crackdown on women’s dress since April.

“The Iranian authorities are doubling down their oppressive methods of policing and punishing women and girls to quell widespread defiance of degrading and discriminatory compulsory veiling laws,” Amnesty said.

It has been obligatory for women to cover their heads and necks since shortly after the Islamic revolution of 1979 that ousted the secular shah.

But Amnesty said there is in fact “an intensified nationwide crackdown”, and noted that police this month announced the return of car and foot patrols enforcing compulsory veiling across the country.

According to Amnesty, more than a million women have received SMS warnings threatening that their vehicles will be confiscated if they are found travelling in a car while unveiled.

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