Government interference in women’s clothing and violation of women’s rights in Iran has always existed in different ways, from the committee to the guidance patrol, more than four decades after the establishment of the Islamic Republic. Trying to regulate the clothing of women and girls in educational and work environments is also part of this method of oppression. However, in recent weeks, we have seen an increase in these encounters and the widespread presence of vehicles and guidance patrol agents under the title of “Moral Security Police” in large cities, especially in Tehran.
According to the report of Jamia Aryaei News Agency, quoted by Harana, the news organ of the group of human rights activists in Iran, the government’s involvement in women’s clothing in Iran has always existed in different ways, from the committee to the guidance patrol, after more than four decades of the establishment of the Islamic Republic.
In recent weeks, we have seen an increase in these encounters and the large presence of vehicles and guidance patrol agents under the title of “Moral Security Police” at the city level. The images and news of the rough treatment of Irshad patrol agents with women and girls have been widely published on social networks. In addition to the violation of the right to determine clothing, more violent forms of repression such as the use of pepper spray, beating of women, and the violation of the rules on the use of weapons by the Irshad patrol forces are taking place.
The way of shooting and resorting to shooting in order to control women’s clothing by the Irshad patrol agents in Pardisan Park, sealing some cultural centers and cafes in Shiraz and other cities, or spraying pepper spray on women’s faces in the stadium are other examples of such actions. .
A women’s rights activist, whose identity is withheld to protect her security, said in relation to the extent of the guidance patrol in Iran: “The behavior of such institutions such as the guidance patrol and so on, their target audience is a part of the society that is aligned with the government and in fact This part of the traditional stratum of society has no particular problem with this form of strictness towards women and control of women’s bodies. On the other hand, in this situation where the economic pressures in the society are increasing day by day, they are trying to show their own behavior and tell this section of the society who are in line with the government that it is true that we are in a difficult economic situation, but “We are still doing well in other aspects, our institutions are seriously and following up on this wrong and unmasked situation.”
A number of women objecting to the mandatory hijab also want equal rights due to an equal share in the economic field. In this regard, Mitra, a resident of Iran, told Harana: “Really, no one understands what financial and psychological costs the Irshad patrol causes for us. We work and have income and pay taxes as well as men. But a simple traffic in the city is full of stress for us. Using the subway and public transportation has become a fight with the police. “Sometimes I have to take a phone taxi or an internet taxi to get back from my workplace, and this is an economic burden on my shoulders.”
According to this women’s rights activist, “there is a group of society that thinks that maybe these restrictions are not enough and there should be stronger laws so that women do not behave like this freely.”
Regarding the process of these encounters, he added: “Definitely, these pressures have increased in recent years, although in the past forty years, all Iranian women never gave in to the compulsion to wear hijab, and they were always looking for ways to maintain their independence, with a new style. From the covering, the new fashions they followed and created a new thing that is not a hijab that the government says and is not oppressed!”
According to this equality activist, “as the pressure on Iranian women increases every day, women’s resistance also increases.”
Protest of citizens on social networks
A number of citizens protested the situation on social networks and asked other citizens to protect themselves against police brutality. According to some experts, this is a rare example where a group of society relies on other citizens of the society to deal with police violence. One of these users wrote on social networks: “Please don’t support us with a camera when our guidance patrol arrests women or girls, please come and support us.” Two other users reported interference in women’s clothing in clinics and the subway: “Over the last few days, Irshad patrol agents visited the midwifery and women’s clinics of Mashhad hospitals and complained about the clothing of the staff and declared that male doctors have the right to visit women.” does not have “In recent days, there has been a significant increase in Irshad patrol officers in the subway, there are even plainclothes officers among the people, and they are very harsh.”
Although years have passed since the beginning of this force, the scope of duties and the limits of the moral security police’s powers are not clear to the people. The task of the Irshad patrol has been defined to deal with what is called “bad hijab”. However, even a specific limit for what they define as “bad hijab” has not been defined, on the other hand, these encounters do not necessarily have anything to do with Shari’a limits. Wearing skirts, high boots and even sometimes wide-leg pants led to moral security police dealing with citizens. However, the violation of the rights of half of the country’s population and voters, not only did not cause protests by the representatives of the Islamic Council, but a number of them, along with the command for good and forbidding evil, demanded an increase in the number of guidance patrols and inconspicuous supervision of hijab. Hassan Norouzi, the representative of Rabat Karim and Baharestan, said in this regard: “This is the demand of the people and the number of guidance patrols should be increased.” brought to a fine.
These words and the absence of any rules to protect women and girls have led to violence from other citizens of the society with strong religious ideas. In some cases, we even see the publication of images of physical attacks on young women and girls due to resistance to the compulsory wearing of hijab by the non-responsible people. In the third week of June this year, a camp called 21-Tir began to work to monitor the state of hijab and chastity in institutions in Razavi Khorasan province. What is mentioned in the text of this camp, the hijab for women includes features in the chador and mask, mantle, pants, socks, shoes and clothing color. From the point of view of this camp, neckties, bow ties and other western symbols, t-shirts, tight and short shirts, body-hugging and patched clothes, gold and ornaments, pants with zippers, etc., should not be used in men’s hijab and clothing.
The so-called plan to monitor the status of hijab and chastity
This plan also lists some common features for both men and women; Not using unauthorized photos without Islamic cover in cyberspace as profile photos, refraining from employing women in posts and organizational places specifically for men and vice versa, employing a male secretary or office manager for male managers and female managers for female managers, etc. It is one of the most important common features. It is also mentioned in a note that employing a female secretary without a veil is considered a double violation.
In 2004, the hijab and chastity plan was announced by the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the implementation of this plan became a permanent plan in the summer of 2007, with the allocation of a budget of 103 billion.
Previously, in line with the criminalization of non-observance of hijab, punishments such as 500,000 rials fine or 10 days to 2 months of imprisonment and non-observance of hijab in cyber space punishments such as 5 to 40 million rials fines or 91 days Up to 2 years imprisonment was considered. But in practice, these citizens are accused under titles such as “spreading corruption and prostitution”, a charge that carries up to 10 years in prison. While the prison sentence in any field is related to the mandatory coverage of violation of Article 9 of the International Penal Code of Civil Rights.
Currently, at least four civil activists are still serving their sentences in Iranian prisons for opposing the mandatory hijab:
Saba Kordafshari and Rahela Ahmadi
Civil activists Saba Kordafshari and Rahela Ahmadi were arrested on June 11 and July 19, 2018, respectively. Ms. Kordafshari was sentenced to 15 years in prison on the charge of “spreading corruption and prostitution through uncovering the hijab and walking without a hijab” on the charge of “propaganda activity against the regime” and 1 year and 6 months in prison. He was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months of imprisonment for a total of 24 years of imprisonment for the charge of “assembly and collusion with the intention of committing a crime against the security of the country”. In March 2019, with the correction of a judicial violation in the proceedings, which increased his sentence to 15 years by two and a half times, and also by applying the Law on Reduction of Punishment, 7 years and 6 months of imprisonment could be enforced for him. Recently, with the acquittal of Mrs. Kordafshari from the charge of “spreading corruption and prostitution through uncovering hijab and walking without hijab” by the Supreme Court of the country, referring to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the harshest punishment of 5 years in prison will be applicable to her. On February 7, 2019, he was transferred from Ward 8 of Qarchak Varamin Prison to Ward 6 of this prison along with beatings. This prisoner lives with the prisoners accused of violent crimes without observing the principle of separation of crimes. Mrs. Ahmadi, mother of Saba Kordafshari, was sentenced to 3 years and six months in prison on the charge of “gathering and collusion against the security of the country through cooperation with the “Maand” media, on the charge of “propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” to 8 He was sentenced to 4 years and 2 months in prison.
Yasman Ariani and Munira Arabshahi
Yasman Ariani and Munirah Arabshahi, civil activists and opponents of the mandatory hijab, are serving their sentences in Karaj’s Kechui prison. Mrs. Ariani was arrested on 21 April 2018 and was taken to Qarchak Varamin prison along with her mother, Munirah Arabshahi, who was arrested a day later. Finally, on 22 August 2018, they were transferred from Qarchak prison in Varamin to the women’s ward of Evin prison, and again on 30 October this year, they were deported from the women’s ward of Evin prison to Kechui prison in Karaj. This girl and her mother were imprisoned in August 2018 for the charges of “Assembly and collusion with the intention of acting against national security, propagandizing against the system and encouraging and providing causes for corruption and prostitution” to 16 years in prison, and in the appeal stage, each to a total of 9 years. They were sentenced to 7 months in prison. With reference to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the severe punishment of 5 years and six months in prison is applicable for each of them. Munira Arabshahi, despite the insistence of the medical examiner about not tolerating imprisonment, has been deprived of medical treatment and is still serving her sentence due to the obstruction of the authorities. At the same time, the endocrinologist and neurologist have also emphasized the necessity of lumbar disc surgery as well as sampling and surgery of his thyroid gland after performing the tests. Yasman Ariani was also beaten by a number of general crimes prisoners on March 4th, following the violation of the principle of separation of crimes.
From the first days of the revolution in March 1957, the mandatory wearing of the hijab faced resistance from women. Demonstrations against Ruhollah Khomeini’s decree regarding the compulsion to wear the hijab can be considered as the starting point of the struggle against the compulsion to wear the hijab in the history after the 1957 revolution, a struggle that many citizens have paid for and which seems to be compulsory until the last day. It will continue to be.