Iran installs public cameras to monitor unveiled women

Iranian authorities will begin installing cameras in public places and thoroughfares today to identify and penalize unveiled women in a further attempt to rein in increasing numbers of women defying the compulsory dress code.

After they have been identified, violators will receive “warning text messages as to the consequences”, the police said in a statement.

The move is aimed at “preventing resistance against the hijab law,” the statement said, carried by the judiciary’s Mizan news agency and other state media, adding that such resistance tarnishes the country’s spiritual image and spreads insecurity.

A growing number of Iranian women have been ditching their veils since the death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman in the custody of the morality police last September.

Mahsa Amini

Ms Amini had been detained for allegedly violating the hijab rule while security forces violently put down the revolt.

Videos of unveiled women resisting the morality police in shopping malls, restaurants and streets have flooded social media while they risk arrest for defying the obligatory dress code.

The police statement called on owners of businesses to “seriously monitor the observance of societal norms with their diligent inspections”.

Under Iran’s Islamic sharia law, imposed after the 1979 revolution, women are obliged to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes to disguise their figures. Violators have faced public rebuke, fines or arrest.

Describing the veil as “one of the civilizational foundations of the Iranian nation” and “one of the practical principles of the Islamic Republic,” an Interior Ministry statement said last month that there would be no retreat on the issue.

It urged citizens to confront unveiled women. Such directives have in the past decades emboldened hardliners to attack women.

Last week, a viral video showed a man throwing yogurt at two unveiled women in a shop.

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