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Iranian Lawyers Say Forced Hijab Rules Shouldn’t Apply to Private Cars

April 14, 2023
1 min read
Some defiant women were arrested or summoned by the authorities, while many businesses were shut down due to the failure of owners or managers to observe hijab rules
Some defiant women were arrested or summoned by the authorities, while many businesses were shut down due to the failure of owners or managers to observe hijab rules

Iranian lawyers are challenging the authorities’ claim that removing hijab in public, including in private cars, is a “crime" that should be punished, amid heated debate over mandatory headscarf rules.

All women in Iran must conceal their hair with a headscarf and wear loose fitting trousers under their coats while in public.

But a growing number of women have appeared in public without a hijab since a young woman died in police custody in September 2022, triggering nationwide protests demanding more freedoms and women’s rights. Amini had been arrested for allegedly wearing a headscarf improperly.

Some defiant women were arrested or summoned by the authorities, while many businesses were shut down due to the failure of owners or managers to observe hijab rules.

The judiciary claimed this week that according to the Islamic Penal Code, "removing the hijab in public is a “crime." And police chief Ahmadreza Radan warned that starting on April 15, anyone violating hijab laws in public places, cars and commercial establishments will be prosecuted.

But according to lawyers Mohsen Borhani and Hoshang Pourbabaei, removing hijab in a car is not a crime.

Borhani called recent judicial verdicts against women who were not wearing a head covering "illegal and illegitimate."

He also said that there is no legal documentation supporting "illegal actions” such as the confiscation of cars and shop closures.

Borhani said that seizing women’s cars is a “crime” and called for those responsible to be “sentenced to prison."

Pourbabaei argued that "not wearing hijab should not lead to imprisonment, deprivation of social services or impoundment of cars." He further stated that prosecutors do not have the right to summon women on this ground.

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