Iran vows crackdown on people who promote removing the veil

Several female celebrities and activists have also in recent months posted photos of themselves on social media without the veil

By Reuters

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Iranian chess champion Sara Khadem poses for a photograph in the south of Spain on February 14, 2023.  Khadem presented herself without veil at a chess tournament in solidarity with the mass protests gripping her homeland over a woman's death in custody. — AFP file
Iranian chess champion Sara Khadem poses for a photograph in the south of Spain on February 14, 2023. Khadem presented herself without veil at a chess tournament in solidarity with the mass protests gripping her homeland over a woman's death in custody. — AFP file

Published: Sat 15 Apr 2023, 1:46 PM

Last updated: Sat 15 Apr 2023, 3:51 PM

People who encourage women to remove the hijab will be prosecuted in criminal courts and will have no right of appeal against any conviction, Iran's deputy attorney general was quoted as saying on Saturday.

His comments come as an increasing number of women have been defying Iran's compulsory dress code, appearing unveiled in malls, restaurants, shops, streets, and other public areas.

Several female celebrities and activists have also in recent months posted photos of themselves on social media without the veil.

Iranian police on Saturday installed cameras in public places to identify and penalise unveiled women, Iranian media reported. Police announced the plan last week.

"The crime of promoting unveiling will be dealt with in the criminal court whose decisions are final and unappealable," the semi-official Mehr News quoted 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, because it is one of the clear examples of encouraging corruption," he added.

He did not say what the punishments might be or what exactly entails promoting unveiling.

A growing number of Iranian women have been ditching their veils since the death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman while in custody of the morality police last September. Mahsa Amini had been detained for allegedly violating the hijab rule. Security forces violently put down the protests following her death.

Videos of unveiled women resisting the morality police have flooded social media.


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