Nearly three months after anti-hijab protests broke out in Iran, the country’s judiciary has ordered the police to “firmly punish” those who violate the hijab law, according to a report by Mehr News Agency on Tuesday, 10 January.
What does this mean? Since the protests after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was allegedly killed by the country’s morality police for violating the hijab law, more women have been taking to the streets without headscarves. However, according to the report, Iran’s judiciary has directed the police to strictly enforce it from the beginning of this year.
The big: Women have been told to wear headscarves even in their cars. Several cafes and restaurants have also been reportedly closed down for serving women without the hijab.
What has the court said? The report quoted the judiciary as saying: “Courts must sentence the violators, as well as fine them, to additional penalties such as exile, bans on practising certain professions, and closing workplaces.”
Why is this important? Earlier in December, Iran’s attorney general said that the mandatory hijab was being reviewed by the parliament and judiciary in light of the protests.
Mohammad Jafar Montazeri had said that “both parliament and the judiciary are working” to see if the law needs any changes “and will see the results in a week or two.”
The hijab has been mandatory for all women since April 1983.
Executions: Iran, so far, has executed four people over the protests sparked by Amini’s death, according to official numbers. Another 13 have been sentenced to death, while six have been granted retrials.