An Iranian provincial governor has said that Iranian women with a loose hijab will not be allowed to enter government offices, shopping centers and other commercial units, amid more than four months of nationwide protests demanding more freedoms and women’s rights.
Laws enforcing mandatory hijab-wearing have become a flashpoint during the protests triggered by the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of morality police, which had detained her for allegedly wearing a headscarf "improperly."
Women have been at the forefront of the protest movement, with many of them, including celebrities, appearing in public without the mandatory headscarf. Some have been arrested or summoned by the authorities.
"Women without hijabs are not allowed to enter [government] offices," Lutfollah Sheibani, governor of the southern province of Fars, told the semi-official Fars news agency on January 26.
"Women without hijab are also banned from entering shopping centers," Sheibani also said, adding, "Citizens, whether they are trade union personnel or customers and visitors to commercial units, do not have the right to remove the hijab. If they were seen, the police will be notified."
The governor said that a dental clinic in the city of Shiraz was recently closed after staff and patients removed their hijabs.
Last week, Tehran University vowed to enforce new regulation that punishes women students who do not abide to the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code.
In Iran, all women and girls over the age of 9 to conceal their hair with a headscarf while in public and wear loose fitting trousers under their coats.