In the heart of the Middle East, a nation grapples with a dichotomy that has long captured international attention. Iran, a country known for its rich history and vibrant culture, has also become synonymous with a stringent dress code imposed by the brutal misogynist mullahs’ regime that has weighed heavily on the lives of its young female population. For decades, Iranian women, particularly schoolgirls, and young adults have navigated a complex labyrinth of sartorial regulations, confronting a stark choice between personal expression and state-mandated conformity.
Escalating Repression in the Wake of 2022 Protests
In the wake of the widespread nationwide protests in 2022, notably led by brave women and girls, the Iranian regime has intensified its efforts to enforce stricter dress code regulations. These measures have sent shockwaves through the country, particularly impacting young women and schoolgirls.
One of the key provisions of this new legislation is the imposition of severe penalties on girls who resist the compulsory hijab. Additionally, the regime has taken the controversial step of linking the student information database system to the Law Enforcement Command of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FARAJA).
Gholamreza Nouri Qazaljeh, the head of the independent faction in the regime’s parliament, revealed that the “Chastity and Hijab Bill” has been amended to include even more punitive measures. While some language pertaining to the punishment of children and adolescents aged 9 to 18 has been altered in the bill, the clauses related to penalties for girls opposing the mandatory hijab have remained unchanged.
Within the section titled ‘Punishment of Children and Adolescents,’ Article 68 of this legislation specifies: “The implementation of the provisions of this chapter aligns with the tenth chapter of the second part of the first book of the Islamic Penal Code, approved on April 21, 2013.”
Article 88 of the Islamic Penal Code defines the individuals covered by this legislation as follows: “Children and teenagers who commit punishable crimes and are between the ages of 9 and 15 at the time of the offense.”
Furthermore, Article 89 of this law extends its jurisdiction to “youths who commit punishable crimes and are between the ages of 15 and 18 at the time of the offense.”
In essence, despite the regime’s Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf’s denials that the bill affects students, the initial text of the legislation, with its reference to Chapter 10, Section 2 of Book 1 of the Islamic Penal Code, explicitly applies punishments to “children and teenagers.” Notably, students typically fall within the age bracket of individuals under 18 years old.
The Unsettling Details of the Repressive Bill
The regime’s representative from Bostanabad has shed light on the controversial aspects of the legislation. He stated, “Regarding children and adolescents, that is, those aged 9 to 15 and 15 to 18, the wording of the bill has been altered, but the clauses pertaining to them remain intact. In essence, this bill continues to impose regulations on children aged 9 to 15 and 15 to 18. If they breach this law, they will be subject to the relevant sections of the Islamic Penal Code. The negative aspects that were present in the previous hijab and chastity bill have not only been retained but have also been augmented, making the bill more stringent.”
Gholamreza Nouri Qazaljeh further highlighted additional concerning provisions within the bill, stating, “Other sensitive issues that were present in earlier versions remain, such as the proposal to link the student database system to FARAJA. This amendment has exacerbated the bill’s impact. The bill now also encompasses the dismissal of sports organization managers, a measure previously absent from the legislation. Additionally, it introduces the possibility of passport confiscation. Article 39 of this new resolution outlines imprisonment as a penalty for recurrent business violations, a new inclusion.”
He pointed out a significant financial burden imposed by the bill, noting that “all costs associated with installing cameras and equipment to identify ‘hijab-breakers’ must be covered by the public budget. This allocation represents a substantial sum and will inevitably affect other areas and construction projects.” He criticized the lack of transparency in the bill’s development, asking, “These issues were never discussed openly. It remains unclear whose suggestions these were, how they were incorporated into the bill, and how it expanded from its initial nine articles to a staggering 70.”
It is evident that senior officials within the regime are determined to revert to the state of affairs preceding the tragic death of Mehsa Amini. The so-called “hijab and chastity bill,” originally drafted within the judiciary and subsequently forwarded to the government and parliament, represents the latest attempt by the regime to enforce the hijab on Iranian women. Its trial implementation has recently been approved.
In its final iteration, the hijab bill prohibits “any behavior, whether in the real or virtual realm, such as nudity, failure to wear a hijab, or wearing immodest clothing in non-private spaces.” The bill prescribes severe penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and property confiscation, for offenders.
Crucially, this legislation authorizes multiple regime entities, including the Ministry of Interior, Faraja, Basij, the IRGC Intelligence Organization, and the Ministry of Intelligence, to apprehend and prosecute women and men on charges related to refusing to wear the hijab, opposing the hijab, or advocating against its use. The implications of this bill extend far beyond mere sartorial regulations, representing a significant expansion of state control over individual freedoms and personal expression in Iran.
Source » irannewsupdate