Iran to use smart cameras to enforce mandatory hijab law
Baku, April 8, AZERTAC
Iranian police will be using "smart systems" to prevent the violation of the country's hijab law amid a growing outcry from the clergy over relaxation in mandatory veil rules, according to Anadolu Agency.
In a statement on Saturday, the police's information center said it will be using smart systems as an "innovative measure" to "prevent any tension and conflict with fellow citizens in establishing the hijab law."
Under the move, smart cameras will be installed in public places and thoroughfares to identify those who are seen violating the hijab norms, the statement noted.
Violators will receive messages on their phones, warning of "legal consequences" if the action is repeated.
The police statement said it will "not tolerate any kind of individual or collective behavior and action in violation of the (hijab) law."
The announcement came amid growing anger and outcry among the country's powerful clergy over the relaxation in mandatory hijab rules in recent months, especially since anti-government protests that erupted in September last year.
In mid-September, a 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini died while in police custody after she was detained in Tehran for violating the mandatory hijab norms.
Her death sparked countrywide protests that gradually turned violent, killing hundreds of people, both civilians and policemen, and triggering a months-long unrest.
Western countries subsequently imposed a slew of sanctions on Iranian officials and entities, accusing them of repression against protesters. Iranian officials, in turn, blamed the US and its European allies for "instigating rioters."
In December, Iran's attorney general said the morality police has been "put to a standstill", fueling speculations that the controversy-ridden police may be disbanded amid protests.
The speculations were later dismissed by state media, but the absence of the morality police on the streets and growing percentage of uncovered women suggested that the authorities had relaxed the mandatory hijab rules.
The law, which came into force after the 1979 Iranian revolution, makes covering of body and hair obligatory for women in the Islamic Republic. Those found violating the law have in the past been fined or rebuked.
On Tuesday, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said hijab is a "religious and legal restriction", not a "restriction imposed by government", while calling on authorities to ensure full adherence to the hijab law.
He blamed the non-observance of the hijab on incitement by "enemy's spy agencies" while expressing confidence that the "issue will be resolved" through a "plan".
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi also defended the hijab law in remarks earlier this month, calling it a "legal matter". His remarks came after a video emerged of a man throwing yogurt at two unveiled women in a departmental store in the city of Mashhad.
On Thursday, the Interior Ministry also issued a statement describing the mandatory veil as “one of the civilizational foundations of the Iranian nation” and “one of the practical principles of the Islamic Republic".
Text contains orthographic mistake
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