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Source: Independent

Apr 15, 2023

Iran to roll out harsher punishment for people encouraging veil removal

‘Promoting unveiling will be dealt with in criminal court whose decisions are final and unappealable’

BY Vishwam Sankaran

People encouraging women in Iran to remove the hijab will be prosecuted in criminal courts with no right of appeal against any conviction, the country’s deputy attorney general has reportedly said.

“The crime of promoting unveiling will be dealt with in the criminal court whose decisions are final and unappealable,” local news quoted Iran’s deputy attorney general Ali Jamadi as saying.

“The punishment for the crime of promoting and encouraging others to remove the hijab is much heavier than the crime of removing the hijab itself,” Mr Jamadi said, according to Reuters.

He likened the act of promoting a person to remove the hijab as a “clear example of encouraging corruption”, but did not delve into what exactly the punishments might be or what constituted “promoting unveiling”.

A growing number of women across Iran are ditching their hijab following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s morality police last year.

Several unveiled women have resisted the law, sharing their videos on social media.

In November last year, Iranian officials arrested two prominent actors, Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi, for removing their headscarves and publicly supporting protests against the government.

Iranian sportswomen have also been appearing in competitions without a veil since the anti-government protests in Iran.

Numerous reports have emerged of the way Iranian police have treated women protesting against the move.

The disturbing accounts have sparked anger and a call for the government to repeal its hijab law.

According to the controversial law, women and girls as young as seven must wear a hijab.

This has placed the country’s approximately 40 million women under constant surveillance since its introduction after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Last week authorities across Iran began installing cameras in public places to identify women defying the country’s compulsory dress code.

Local police said violators would receive “warning text messages as to the consequences” following the move aimed at “preventing resistance against the hijab law”.

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