From Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
An Iranian official says footage from surveillance cameras in public places like subways is being used to identify and punish women who don’t comply with the country’s mandatory hijab rule.
In a video posted to social media, Mohammad Saleh Hashemi Golpayegani said the measure was based on President Ebrahim Raisi’s July 5 order to enforce the so-called hijab and chastity law. It is the first time that an official in Iran has publicly acknowledged the presence of facial recognition technology in public surveillance cameras.
Golpayegani is the secretary of Iran’s Law Enforcement and Prohibition of Evil Headquarters, responsible for defining and enforcing models of behavior in society.
Golpayegani has previously said that women who post their pictures online without headscarves will be deprived of some social rights for a period ranging from six months to a year.
Authorities in Iran are increasingly cracking down on women who are believed to be in violation of the wearing of the headscarf, which is compulsory in Iran in public.
In recent weeks, women deemed non-compliant have been banned from entering government offices, banks or using public transport.
The notorious Guidance Patrols, or morale police, have become increasingly active and violent. Videos have surfaced on social media that appear to show officers arresting women, forcing them into vans and taking them away.
The hijab – the head covering worn by Muslim women – became mandatory for Iranian women and girls over the age of 9 in public after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Many Iranian women have flouted the rule over the years, pushing the boundaries of what officials describe as acceptable attire.
Source: American military news