Reuters: Iranian police will intensify a crackdown on women flouting Islamic dress code, a police official told a newspaper on Sunday, in the first reinforcement of regular summertime campaigns. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iranian police will intensify a crackdown on women flouting Islamic dress code, a police official told a newspaper on Sunday, in the first reinforcement of regular summertime campaigns.
Such crackdowns have become a regular feature of Iranian life, but it is the first time police have pledged to toughen up measures that began in April.
A human rights group on Saturday criticised Iran for abuses like police crackdowns on violations of the Islamic dress code. It said some 488 men and women were detained during the first days of the crackdown.
“From Mordad (the Iranian month starting on July 23) police numbers will double to confront such immoral behaviour,” the Farhang-e Ashti daily quoted Tehran police chief Ahmad Reza Radan as saying.
Under Islamic sharia law, imposed after Iran’s 1979 revolution, women are obliged to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes to disguise their figures and protect their modesty. Violators can receive lashes, fines or imprisonment.
Many young women, particularly in wealthier urban areas, challenge the limitations by wearing calf-length Capri pants, tight-fitting, thigh-length coats in bright colours and scarves pushed back to expose plenty of hair.
The Islamic dress code is less commonly challenged in poor suburbs and rural areas.
Radan said those women who resisted the guidance of police would appear before the courts.
“First, those who breach the dress code will be warned by the police … But if they continue their ignorance … they will be sent to courts,” the police chief said.
Since hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the presidency in 2005 after promising a return to the values of the revolution, hardliners have pressed for tighter controls on “immoral behaviour”.
Iran has repeatedly rejected criticism by rights groups over such crackdowns, saying the country’s efforts were aimed at “fighting morally corrupt people.”