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In Iran, the police send text messages to unveiled women in cars


Women who refuse to wear the veil in their car will expose themselves in the event of a repeat offense to fines, or even to a stay in prison.

New step in the process of suppressing demonstrations in Iran. Its name: Nazer-1. This module, announced by a police official on Monday January 2, whose name translates to “surveillancein Persian, has a simple objective: to point out all the women in their car who are not wearing their hijab correctly.

The goal? Send an SMS to these refractory Iranian women, telling them that he is “necessary to respect the norms of society and to ensure that this act is not repeatedof the removal of the veil. One more stone in the edifice of restriction of women’s freedoms, in an Iran shaken by a wave of massive protest for nearly four months.

Reinforcement of the 1983 law

The process of this Nazer-1 program is simple. The police identify women driving who are not wearing their veils – or are wearing them incorrectly – and immediately send them an SMS, using the telephone number linked to the license plate of their vehicle. The women contacted by the police must then go to the station closest to their home and sign a paper stipulating that they undertake not to repeat this breach of the law. If they are again caught in the act of wearing “incorrectwearing the veil while driving their vehicle, they then risk the confiscation of their vehicle, financial fines, or even a stay in prison.

This is a reinforcement of the 1983 law which obliges women to veil themselves in public spaceexplains sociologist Azadeh Kian. A concrete application which comes in response to the demonstrations of an unprecedented scale which have shaken Iran for nearly four months, following the assassination of Mahsa Amini, a young Kurd of 22 years, by the controversial morality police.

A repression that now bears a name

In fact, surveillance of the population in Iran via the sending of SMS has existed for ten years, and operates in waves. “This is not new because the regime has been sending collective messages, launched blindly, to men and women for many years.“recalls Mahnaz Shirali, sociologist and political scientist specializing in Iran. “What changes is that this repression is part of a delimited program. crushing of any hint of protest“.

In addition to this program, there is another prohibition measure: Iranian women who do not respect the wearing of the veil will be deprived of the use of multiple services, in particular banking or hospital. And vice versa, the staff of these establishments who would be seen helping these refractory to the law risk losing their jobs.

This increased monitoring of women who refuse to wear their hijab is a concrete application of the law. “In fact, once women are in the public space, they are affected by the obligation of the veil, even if they are in their personal car.“, details Azadeh Kian. “This measure particularly targets Iranian women who refuse to wear the hijab on the pretext that their car is their personal vehicle, which therefore affects their private life.“.

For Azadeh Kian, Nazer-1, which wants to tighten the screws of the yoke of the veil in Iran, is above all symptomatic of the “local authority puzzle“. “The police no longer know how to go about enforcing the laws. And the use of the morality police, responsible for the death of Mahsa Amini who set fire to the powder in Iran, is to be ruled out.“. “The idea», continues Mahnaz Shirali, «it is to rape women between four walls when they go to the police station, rather than to rape them in the middle of the street, in full view of everyone“.

“The showdown will continue”

An ambitious program, which has already proven itself according to Iranian law enforcement. A senior police official in the country said on Tuesday morning that 300,000 text messages have already been sent to women who are not or poorly veiled, and 150,000 women have reported to police stations. An efficiency to qualify for Azadeh Kian. “The issue of veils is already a resolved issue for Iranian women. They won’t wear it anymore“, she hammers. “They will go so far as to risk fines and prosecution, but will continue to disobey. The showdown will continue“.

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