ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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Amnesty International says Iran carrying out ‘intensified’ hijab crackdown

Illustrative: Iranian women make their way along a sidewalk in downtown Tehran, Iran, April 26, 2016. (Vahid Salemi/AP)
Illustrative: Iranian women make their way along a sidewalk in downtown Tehran, Iran, April 26, 2016. (Vahid Salemi/AP)

PARIS — Iranian authorities have in the last months launched an intensified crackdown against women deemed to have violated the Islamic Republic’s strict dress rules, Amnesty International says.

Iran was convulsed for months by unprecedented protests sparked by the September 2022 custody death of Mahsa Amini, 22, who had been arrested by the morality police for purportedly breaking the rules.

Some politicians inside Iran had argued in the wake of the protests that the rules should be loosened and there were even indications — never confirmed — that the morality police could be abolished.

But with the intensity of protests diminishing over the last months, Amnesty says Iranian authorities have launched a new crackdown on women’s dress since April.

“The Iranian authorities are doubling down their oppressive methods of policing and punishing women and girls to quell widespread defiance of degrading and discriminatory compulsory veiling laws,” Amnesty says.

It has been obligatory for women to cover their heads and necks since shortly after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 that ousted the secular shah.

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