Iran: Police to crack down on "bad veiling" in private offices and public cafes

Sapa-AFP via WUNRN
Iranian police will confront women in private offices, or even socialising in cafes, whose dress is deemed improper, as part of a continued morality crackdown, Tehran’s police chief said today.
Police have been enforcing the crackdown for the past year and its morality patrol officers have handed tens of thousands of warnings to women on Tehran’s streets.
Including offices and cafes - which so far have not been targeted - would mark a major expansion of the drive.

“As part of the campaign to increase security in society, the police in the capital will soon act against bad veiling in private companies, cafes, internet cafes and restaurants,” Commander Ahmad Reza Radan said.

“The police will deal strictly against those who do not respect the law,” he said, according to the Mehr news agency.

He added that police would also be acting against “satan-worshipping” groups but did not give further details.

The length and severity of the crackdown has been unprecedented in the Islamic republic in recent years. Vans of the moral police are still a common sight in Tehran’s main squares as officials monitor passing women.

Women deemed inappropriately dressed are usually hauled to a moral detention centre to sign a written pledge not to repeat the offence and await family members to bring them more modest clothing.

Since the Islamic revolution in 1979, every post-pubescent woman, regardless of her nationality and religion, has been required to observe the Islamic dress code in public in Iran.

But the law is flouted by many, especially in middle class and affluent urban areas.

The police have insisted that their drive is almost universally popular with the public but women who sport loose headscarves and tight short coats are still a regular feature on Tehran’s streets.

Source: Sapa-AFP via WUNRN

17 April 2008