Iran Implements Surveillance to Identify and Penalize Unveiled Women in Public Spaces

Iran Implements Surveillance to Identify and Penalize Unveiled Women in Public Spaces

Iran: Iranian authorities have taken a new step to enforce the compulsory dress code for women by installing cameras in public places and thoroughfares, according to a police announcement on Saturday.

The move is designed to identify and penalize women who defy the hijab law, which has seen increasing resistance in recent months.

The police statement, carried by the judiciary’s Mizan news agency and other state media, explained that the objective of the surveillance is to “prevent resistance against the hijab law,” as such resistance “tarnishes the country’s spiritual image and spreads insecurity.”

Violators will be identified and receive “warning text messages as to the consequences,” the police said.

This latest action follows the death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of the morality police last September.

Amini had been detained for allegedly violating the hijab rule.

Security forces violently suppressed the ensuing revolt, but many Iranian women have defied the obligatory dress code, appearing unveiled in malls, restaurants, shops, and streets across the country.

Videos of unveiled women resisting the morality police have since circulated on social media.

Saturday’s police statement urged business owners to “seriously monitor the observance of societal norms with their diligent inspections.”

Under Iran’s Islamic Sharia law, enacted after the 1979 revolution, women must cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes to disguise their figures.

Those who defy the dress code have faced public rebuke, fines, or arrest.

The Interior Ministry, on March 30, described the veil as “one of the civilizational foundations of the Iranian nation” and “one of the practical principles of the Islamic Republic,” stating that there would be no retreat on the issue.

The ministry also called upon citizens to confront unveiled women, a directive that has historically emboldened hardliners to attack women. Recently, a viral video showed a man throwing yogurt at two unveiled women in a shop.

As Iran’s authorities continue to enforce the dress code, it remains to be seen how the public will respond to the increased surveillance and pressure to conform to these societal norms.

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