Women's Rights & Movements in IranIran: 150,000 women detained for breaking dress code

Iran: 150,000 women detained for breaking dress code

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AKI: Some 150,000 women have been detained in Iran for violating strict new Islamic dress code rules, the country’s top police officer has announced. Adnkronos International

Tehran, 26 April (AKI) – Some 150,000 women have been detained in Iran for violating strict new Islamic dress code rules, the country’s top police officer has announced. “During the first four days [since the code came into effect”> we have picked up 150,000 women who were not properly veiled, but many of them were released after they signed an admission of guilt and a formal apology,” General Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam told journalists. An unspecified number of the women taken into custody were also forced to undergo psychological counseling, Moghaddam said.

“Only 13 of these women are still being held and they will have to stand trial,” he explained.

Some prominent politicians have criticised the government and the security forces for the way the matter has been handled.

“Certain methods produce undesired results,” said Ayatollah Seyyed Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi. “Dragging women and girls to police stations for having some hair out of place, not only won’t serve to bring morality to the country, but will have very negative effects on it,” he added.

Justice minister Gholam Hossein Elham has apparently tried to minimise the incident by blaming the poice for being over zealous in enforcing the dress code. “The government issued no specific orders on how to carry out the campaign,” he said.

However, 203 legislators in Iran’s Majlis parliament in a letter addressed to Moghaddam, expressed their support for the way police acted.

In the letter, the legislators blame the United States and Israel for “inciting” Iranian women not to respect the Islamic dress code, including the shrouding of the head with the hijab scarf.

The Speaker of the Majlis, Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, described the new ‘moralising2 campaign which includes a strict application of the dress code as an “admirable act” and he urged women to “believe strongly in the hijab”.

Radical Islamist deputy, Seyyed Mehdi Tabatabai, said that “those who do not respect the dress code and who refuse to wear the hijab have no place in an Islam country and should leave.”

Culture and Islamic Orientation minister Mohammad Hossein Saffar Harandi, for his part defined the police operation as “a holy deed” and lambasted newspapers and other media that had criticised the campaign.

“It is unacceptable that some have shown dissatisfaction with the police’s behaviour and have placed obstacles against the campaign. Newspaper who create problems for the police will not be tolerated for much longer, and action will soon be taken against them,” Harandi warned.

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