TEHRAN: Iranian women who flout the strict Islamic dress code mandating head coverings and modest clothing would face up to 10 years’ prison under a bill passed on Wednesday.
Since then, a growing number of Iranian women have been seen in public without hijab head scarves or observing the rules against clothes that are deemed too tight-fitting or otherwise revealing.
Iran’s legislature approved “the `Support for the Culture of Hijab and Chastity’ bill for a trial period of three years”, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Out of the 290 lawmakers, 152 voted in favour, 35 against, and seven abstained, with the remainder absent. The bill still requires approval by the Guardian Council.
Last year’s protests, labelled foreign-instigated “riots” by Iranian authorities, saw hundreds of people killed, including security personnel, and thousands arrested.
Under the bill, violations would be punished most severely if they are considered linked to “hostile foreign forces”.
Women breaching the dress rules “in cooperation with foreign or hostile governments, media, groups or organisations” could face five to 10 years’ prison.
Those seen “half-naked in public spaces” would also face lengthy jail terms. Women driving cars without a hijab or wearing “inappropriate clothing” would be fined five million rials, or around $10.
The draft law also imposes fines against anyone “promoting nudity” or “mocking the hijab” in the media.
Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2023