Students barred from universities in Iran for defying hijab laws

Students barred from universities in Iran for defying hijab laws
3 min read
10 July, 2023
After the death of Mahsa Amini and the resulting protests, female students in Iranian universities are continuing to protest by flouting the country's mandatory hijab laws. But the cost is high for such defiance.
The protest is a continuation of those sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini [Getty]

At least 60 female students in Iran have allegedly been barred from universities for defying the country’s mandatory hijab law, according to a report by the Guardian on Monday.

Videos shared by citizen journalists showed women and girls who were not wearing the hijab being harassed by disciplinary committees or pro-regime civilians on public transport, the streets and on campuses.

In defiance, female students from across the country have been filming videos or taking pictures of themselves without the hijab.

“We’re being mass banned from the campus for refusing to wear a hijab, and in the past few days there has been a violent crackdown on us for peacefully sitting in protest,” said a student from a university in Tehran, one of nine suspended female students who spoke to the Guardian.

She added that security officials “violently threw us out of the classrooms”.

Professors and faculty staff who support the protesters are allegedly attacked and also banned from campuses. Human rights groups in Iran have documented the use of “sham” trials by universities where students and faculty are found guilty without any chance to prove their innocence.

The students’ council for Iranian universities and the NGO Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) claimed that anywhere between 40-67 female students had been “conditionally suspended” or expelled for “failing to fully observe” hijab rules.

Students also said the university security teams were violently raiding dormitories and kicking students out for sharing social media posts in support of protesters and those sentenced to death.

“The university administration is acting like an extended arm of the Islamic Republic,” another student said, adding that her future plans for a career will be ruined unless she doesn’t “apologise and retract my social media posts in support of the revolution.”

The protests came in the wake of the death of Mahsa Amini, who was brutally beaten to death, according to eyewitnesses, by the Guidance Patrol, the Iranian regime’s morality police on September 22.

Her 'crime' was not wearing the hijab. The regime claimed the 21-year-old law student had a heart attack.

Amini’s death sparked what many consider to be the most popular and widespread protests in recent Iranian history.