Authorities shut 150 businesses in Iran for non-compliance with hijab law
Iranian authorities have shut down 137 shops and 18 restaurants and reception halls across the country over a 24-hour period for failing to enforce the mandatory hijab laws, police informed Sunday.
It comes just a day after police announced plans to use surveillance cameras and facial recognition technology to monitor compliance with the law which has been in existence since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
The police had to close more than 150 commercial establishments for not heeding to earlier warnings regarding the obligation to wear the hijab, Tasnim news agency cited police spokesperson Saeed Montazerolmahdi as saying.
The increased surveillance comes as a growing number of women in Iran are defying the compulsory dress code since violent protests erupted last September following the mysterious death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in police custody.
Amini died on September 16 after being arrested for allegedly wearing the veil wrongly. Her death drew intense criticism from across the globe and sparked demonstrations against the hijab law as well as the government.
Despite the harsh and controversial crackdown on protests and anti-government sentiment by authorities, there are still a noteworthy number of women who continue to defy the mandate by not wearing the hijab in public.
In addition to the commercial establishments, car owners could also risk having their vehicles impounded if female passengers break the dress code. A number of reports also suggest other potential measures such as a proposition to fine violators $6,000.