Women in Iran who continue to disobey the country’s compulsory headscarf rule might face a prison sentence of up to ten years under stricter restrictions that are now awaiting approval by the government. Even establishments that serve women who do not wear the hijab are at risk of being closed down.
The tougher dress rule, which amounts to “gender apartheid,” according to experts from the United Nations, comes one year after the death in detention of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been detained for allegedly wearing the Islamic headscarf wrongly. Mahsa Amini had been accused of wearing the Islamic headscarf inappropriately, which led to her arrest. Her death, which occurred after she was reportedly abused by police, sparked the worst wave of popular protest that Iran has seen in years.
An Iranian human rights lawyer by the name of Hossein Raeesi stated that the length of jail sentences proposed in the draft law were equal to those for major offenses such as murder and drug trafficking. “It’s laughable to even consider the possibility of that happening.”
The hijab and chastity bill has a comprehensive list of sanctions, some of which include imprisonment, severe fines, and more than sixty lashing. It also cautions firms that they risk closure as well as other harsh consequences if they are discovered to be giving services to women who are dressed inappropriately.
A woman named Elnaz, who works as a journalist in Iran, was quoted as saying, “With the new rule, the government is telling us women that we would go to prison for up to 10 years if we do not wear a hijab. What comes next? A sentence of death for disobeying the new law regarding the hijab?
The proposal for a law comes after increased patrolling by the “morality police” and expands “gender segregation” in businesses, parks, universities, and hospitals. According to a committee of specialists that were appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council, it appears to equate to an attempt at “suppressing women and girls into total submission.”
According to Farah*, a student at the University of Finance in Tehran, “The Islamic Republic has taken a cue from the Taliban to slowly ban us from public places.” They want women to be completely eliminated from society.
According Human Rights Activists (HRA) in Iran, Iran’s Guardian Council, a powerful organization that reviews laws and oversees elections, is in the process of reviewing the new law. It is made up of 12 men and is led by Ahmad Jannati, a 97-year-old priest who was just recently re-elected to his position as chair, which he has held since 1988.
They are responsible for analyzing the terms of the bill and determining whether or not they comply with Islamic law. According to the HRA, after the measure is approved, it will be sent back to parliament, and its implementation could begin as early as October.
According to security activists and advocates for women’s rights, the Iranian government is putting a significant amount of money into purchasing intelligent cameras that are equipped with facial-recognition technology. It has been claimed that cameras are also capable of delivering notifications when they identify a significant number of people congregating in a single location.
Kurdish locals in Amini’s hometown of Saqqez claim that additional checkpoints have been established by the security forces in order to detain women who do not adhere to the dress code as well as those who are planning to demonstrate on the anniversary of her passing.
In interviews conducted by the media, protestors stated that they were getting ready to take to the streets on September 16 and march to the graves of other demonstrators who had been killed by security forces over the course of the previous year.