Despite Threats of “Your car will be confiscated,” Iranian Women Disregard Hijab Law
Women in Iran are resisting renewed efforts by the government to use technology to impose the mandatory dress code, which has been the subject of ongoing protests across the nation.
Also Read – Iran closes businesses not abiding by hijab law
In April, national police chief Ahmad Reza Radan announced the start of a “smart” program using surveillance cameras to identify women who disobey the threat of fines or imprisonment by failing to cover their hair or wear loose-fitting clothing in public.
He issued warnings that those who violated the hijab law a second time would face legal action, that cars carrying female passengers with uncovered hair would be impounded, and that companies that failed to enforce the law would be forced to close.
However, his announcement sparked mocking responses on social media, with women across the nation posting images and videos of themselves in public places without the hijab.
“Not exactly accurate”
People claim to have been getting notifications about dress code violations inside their cars from traffic control cameras for several years.
However, this is the first instance in which the government has threatened to fine or seize people’s cars.
“After a road trip to the city of Damghan with my female friends, I got an SMS with my number plate number more than a month ago. In our cars, we were primarily not covering our faces, one woman told the BBC.
Similar messages warning them that their cars will be impounded if they reappear in public without the hijab have been reported by other people. Links to a website where they can contest the alleged offense are also included in the messages.
A message with his car’s license plate and the place he had driven on a specific day, according to one man, was sent to him, “except I was not with a woman at that time and place.”
“I was by myself. Their cameras could be more precise, he continued.
The man, who wished to remain unnamed, sent a photograph to the BBC displaying his long hair.
As a result of April’s announcement, men have also claimed that the police sent them a seemingly indiscriminate message saying, “Dear citizen, it is necessary to respect and comply with the law of the hijab.”
One man joked about the action on Instagram, writing, “Is this how smart your technology is?”
According to some solicitors, the judiciary and police are breaking the law with this new action.
Mohsen Borhani stated on Twitter that “the confiscation of cars because a person is not wearing a hijab, has no legal basis in the constitution and is a crime.” In response, the judiciary reiterated that “taking off the hijab in public is a crime”.
We are not forgetful.
Despite the elevated risk of punishment, women have stated they are prepared to continue the fight against the obligatory hijab.
One young person in Semnan said, “Too many young lives have been lost in the last few months for us to go back to how things were before.”
She was alluding to the brutal repression of the demonstrations that broke out after Mahsa Amini passed away while in custody last September. The 22-year-old had been detained by morality police for allegedly donning her hijab “improperly”.
Since then, many women have participated in protests while chanting “Woman, Life, Freedom” and burning their headscarves or waving them in the air.
They continue to fight to get rid of the system that governs their private and public lives almost nine months later.
According to a woman from Tehran who spoke to the BBC, “This is an Islamic dictatorship, and one of its main pillars is the oppression and control of women. For this reason, the fight against the mandatory hijab is something that shakes the core of this system.”
“I want to show that the ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ movement is still alive and that we have not forgotten the death of Mahsa Amini,” a different woman in the capital stated.
Women “won’t give up”
According to a feminist activist who has been detained several times since the demonstrations started but is currently free on bail, “Women will not surrender,” she told the BBC. Women don’t appear to be alarmed by these new dangers.
She also thought the situation the authorities were in was challenging.
Because of this, they have advanced the police in this conflict without significantly expanding their authority or granting them more authority to combat women.
Additionally, supporters of the current regime are against the new approach.
Getting the police involved in the hijab debate will only deepen the chasm between the populace and the government, according to Hossein Alaiee, a former high-ranking IRGC commander.
“We saw how the morality police’s actions sparked a backlash and increased the proportion of women who do not wear the hijab.”