Iranian police announced on Saturday that authorities are installing cameras in public places and on roads to monitor and punish women who don’t wear the hijab, in a new effort to curb the growing number of people protesting the mandatory dress code.
The police said in a statement that criminals would be met after monitoring “text messages warning of consequences”.
A statement carried by the Justice Department’s Mizan news agency and other state media said the move was aimed at “squelching opposition to the veil law,” adding that such opposition was tarnishing the country’s spiritual image and spreading insecurity.
The number of Iranian women is on the rise following the death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman in the custody of the morality police last September. Mahza Amini was arrested on charges of violating veil rules. The security forces retaliated severely to the agitation.
Despite the risk of violating mandatory dress codes, women are still widely seen in shopping malls, restaurants, shops and on the streets across the country. Video clips of non-veiled women protesting the morality police have gone viral on social media.
A police statement on Saturday called on business owners to “diligently monitor compliance with social norms through rigorous inspections”.
Under the interpretation of Islamic law in force in Iran since the 1979 revolution, women must cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting dresses. Violations are punishable by public censure, fines or detention.
An Interior Ministry statement on March 30 said the veil was “one of the pillars of civilization of the Iranian people” and “one of the practical principles of the Islamic Republic” and that there would be no “backlash” in this regard.
The report urged citizens to confront women who do not wear veils. Similar orders in past decades have encouraged conservatives to attack women. A video clip that went viral last week shows a man throwing curd at two women in a shop.
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“Total” defends its strategy, and the police disperse the demonstrators