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Women

Deployment of Hijab Enforcers in Tehran Metro Sparks Anger

November 23, 2023
2 min read
Protests have gained traction on social media, prompting some government media outlets to portray the hijab enforcers as "spontaneous groups of people who treat others with good manners and respect"
Protests have gained traction on social media, prompting some government media outlets to portray the hijab enforcers as "spontaneous groups of people who treat others with good manners and respect"

Civil activists and ordinary people in Iran continue to denounce the increased presence of "women in chadors and men with cameras in hand" in Tehran metro stations and other public spaces, including busy squares, parks and university campuses, as the authorities vowed determination in enforcing the mandatory hijab rules.

Protests have gained traction on social media, prompting some government media outlets to portray the hijab enforcers as "spontaneous groups of people who treat others with good manners and respect."

Hamshahri, a newspaper published by the Tehran municipality, ran a front-page headline that read "My Dear, Your Headscarf…"

Describing the actions of hijab enforcers at Tehran subway entrances as "simple and kind reminders," the article stated that these people operate "within the framework of the law."

However, many Iranian citizens, particularly female students, complain about harsh treatment they have received from hijab enforcers at Tehran’s Theater station. 

Amirkabir Newsletter Telegram channel, which covers news related to students, reported on November 19 that "the atmosphere at Theater station is very tense and some forces are fighting with people and are chanting slogans against women without hijab."

Hamshahri claimed that "more than 80 percent of Iranian people consider hijab as an important religious principle and believe in veiling.”

The hardline newspaper Javan suggested that "warning men to be cautious where they look is not enough" to prevent them from being "dragged into corruption." 

This view has been met with widespread criticism, with many Iranian men finding it to be insulting.

In response to the widespread criticism, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi admitted that the hijab enforcers do not have a license from his ministry.

Vahidi and Tehran Mayor Alireza Zakani claimed that hijab enforcers are "people's groups" acting on their own initiative, but reports indicate that police officers are present alongside these alleged vigilantes.

The Tehran Municipality has installed advertisements in subway stations for the employment of hijab enforcers. 

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