Wary of re-igniting Iran’s worst political turmoil in years, the country’s rulers are resorting to new, less obtrusive tactics to punish women who refuse to wear the obligatory Islamic hijab.
The methods, introduced following nationwide anti-government protests last year, combine use of security cameras with denial of state services to violators, replacing the morality police whose actions were the flashpoint for the months of unrest.
The measures have yet to make much headway against opposition to the hijab, and could worsen economic pressures if they result in the closure of businesses, Iranian activists say.
“Walking unveiled in the streets is now my way of keeping our revolution alive,” said Roya, 31, a private tutor in the northern city of Rasht, who was arrested during protests in November and detained for three months.
“We are not scared of the regime’s threats. We want freedom … This path will continue until we regain our country from the clerics,” Maryam, a high school girl in Iran’s western Kermanshah city, told Reuters.