Iran: Women without hijab barred from using Tehran's metro as crackdown continues

Iran: Women without hijab barred from using Tehran's metro as crackdown continues
Iranian women have been barred from using Tehran's metro for not wearing a hijab, as authorities continue to to crack down on women's freedoms.
2 min read
10 April, 2023
Iranian police said they would install cameras to 'catch' women who are not wearing a hijab [source: Getty]

Iranian women not wearing a hijab will be barred from using the Tehran metro, Iran’s state TV said, as authorities extend their clampdown on women’s freedoms following months of widespread anti-government protests. 

New hijab enforcement teams have been established in the capital, with footage on state TV showing metro staff preventing women from passing through the ticket barrier without a head covering. 

The punitive measures follow Supreme Leader Ali Khameni’s statements last week about mandatory hijab-wearing and come after months of protests in which both women and men challenged repressive government tactics after Mahsa Amini’s death. 

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Iranian activist Shima Babaei shared a TV clip of women being refused entry to the metro without a headscarf and said: "This [video clip] is produced by [the] Islamic regime, show clearly that women who refused to have obligatory hijab are not permitted to use public transportation.

"This is the true example of gender apartheid."

The Iranian police have also announced they would use "smart" technology in public places to identify and then punish women who are not wearing the hijab. 

This includes installing cameras in the streets and using existing traffic camera CCTV to identify unveiled women. 

"From next Saturday, people who remove their veil will be identified by using smart equipment," said Police Chief Ahmad-Reza Radan, reported Iran International. 

Those who are spotted without a headscarf will receive a "warning text message as to the consequences," said the Guardian. 

The judiciary said it is willing to impose  fines on women taken to court for not wearing a hijab, and women could have their cars impounded if they are seen driving without a head covering. 

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Since the death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022, there have been widespread protests across Iran, with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets to criticise restrictive government measures and the heavy-handed tactics of the "morality police". 

Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian, was stopped outside a metro station in Tehran before she was arrested for allegedly breaching strict codes on women’s clothing. 

She died in hospital just days later, with "morality police" widely accused of beating her and causing her death.

Many Iranian women have refused to wear a hijab in solidarity with the anti-government protests in the wake of her death. 

Iranian authorities have accused unveiled women of working for enemies and foreign spies.