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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Iran’s Controversial ‘Gender Apartheid’ Bill Seeks Harsh Punishments for Hijab Violations

Even companies providing services to women who don't wear hijabs risk closure

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IRAN: Iran is implementing stricter restrictions on women, which could lead to up to 10 years in prison if they continue to disobey the headscarf requirement. Even companies providing services to women who don’t wear hijabs risk closure. 

The tighter clothing rule, deemed “gender apartheid” by UN experts, was implemented after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman, died in custody after being allegedly abused by police.

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Iranian human rights attorney Hossein Raeesi argues that the draft law’s prison terms are equivalent to major crimes like murder and drug trafficking. The hijab and chastity bill includes punishments like over 60 lashes, fines, and lengthy prison sentences. 

It also warns companies providing services to women in “improper dress code” with closure and severe consequences.

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The proposed rule aims to expand gender segregation in businesses, hospitals, parks, and colleges through increased morality police surveillance, according to experts from the UN Human Rights Council. The rule is seen as an attempt to suppress women and girls into submission, as per the experts.

The Guardian Council of Iran, a significant organization responsible for reviewing legislation and elections, is reviewing a new law, according to the organisation Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA).

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It includes the 12 men-only council, chaired by 97-year-old cleric Ahmad Jannati, which is tasked with ensuring the bill’s adherence to Islamic law. The HRA predicts the law will be returned to parliament after approval and may come into effect in October.

Iranian women’s rights activists claim that the government is investing heavily in facial recognition technology-based smart cameras to monitor crowds and issue alarms.

Meanwhile, Kurdish residents in Amini’s hometown of Saqqez claim that security forces have added new roadblocks to jail women disobeying dress codes and those preparing to demonstrate on the anniversary of her death.

Also Read: Sudanese Activists Allege Airstrike in Khartoum Killed 20 Civilians


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