Wednesday, April 18, 2007


No sooner were two women's rights activist released after two weeks in detention the police announced they'd be cracking down on women whose dress violates "Islamic codes."

Iranian women who do not respect the Islamic dress code are instruments of the enemy, Iran's police chief, Gen. Ahmad Moghaddam, said on Wednesday, the country's Army Day. "Women who do not wear the veil and don't abide by the Muslim dress code are tools of the enemy, who tries to destroy the system by spreading a cuture which goes against Islamic values," he said. AKI reports the general slammed recent criticism of a police measure which will become effective starting on 21 April under which women who do not respect the Islamic dress code will be arrested.

"The police must solve this problem because it is intolerable to accept the challenge posed by some women to the Islamic principles on which our system is based and which the enemy would like to overthrow," said General Moghaddam.

Iran's Interior Minister Mostafa Purmohammadi says the government "dress code" is committed to safeguarding women's rights particularly in social arena. He said the government's plans to confront non-conventional dress codes are only intended to ensure a healthy public presence for women.

What a guy.

Women in Iran are by law obliged to cover their head with hijab (Islamic head covering) and a full length overcoat that covers all bodily contours. Visiting foreigners and religious minorities are not exempted.

Each year, as Iran's hot summer begins, the authorities announce a crackdown on loose dressing as hem lines become shorter.

However in recent years many Iranian women, especially in the capital Tehran, have sought to test the boundaries by pushing their headscarves back to reveal more hair as well as wearing shorter and tighter mantos.

The following is from OneWorld.

Iran Releases 2 Activists, Imposes 'Dress Controls' for Women

We are pleased to share with you that Mahboubeh Hosseinzadeh and Nahid Keshavarz, activists in the One Million Signatures Campaign, arrested on April 2nd, were released from Evin prison on April 15th. They were incarcerated for nearly two weeks for collecting signatures in support of a petition to change discriminatory laws against women in Iran.

The released women activists and campaign members extend their gratitude to all individuals, civic organizations, and human rights and women's rights networks who have supported them and who have helped bring worldwide attention to their struggle.

However, harassment of activists continues. Since this weekend, 11 more of our activist colleagues, have been summoned by the Revolutionary Court and charged with "violating national security," "publicity against the Islamic Republic," and "participating in an unauthorized demonstration."

The Iranian news agency ILNA reported yesterday that Information Minister, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejeie, declared the women's movement and the students' movement as "elements of soft subversion" against the regime. In escalating crackdown on women's rights, the police have announced that starting this Saturday they will begin apprehending women whose dress is deemed to be in violation of the Islamic code. Women wearing short mantos (coats), tight outer garments, and inadequate headscarves will be taken to four centers. Tehran's deputy head of police Hossein Sadjedi-Nia explained, "They will have to give a written engagement not to repeat the offense and can then leave when their family brings the appropriate clothing."

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