In Iran, surveillance of the wearing of the hijab in cars is back

Heightened surveillance in Iran. On Monday, Iranian police resumed surveillance of women wearing hijabs in their vehicles. More than 100 days after the death of Iranian girl Mahsa Amini, following her arrest for an alleged violation of the strict women’s dress code that sparked historic protests, “the police have started the new stage of the Nazer-1 program ( surveillance in Persian) across the country,” a “senior” police official told the Fars news agency.

“It should be mentioned that the Nazer-1 is about the absence of hijab in cars,” with the police sending a text message to the offender, explained this official. According to the agency, this message will be the following: “the absence of the veil has been observed in your car. It is necessary to respect the norms of society and to be careful not to repeat this act” of removing the veil.

Legal proceedings in the event of a repeat offense

On the other hand, the threat present in a first version of the message stipulating that “if this action is repeated, legal and judicial consequences (you) will be applied”, has been deleted.

The Nazer program was launched by the police in 2020. After the mobilization following Amini’s death, the vice squad, which had arrested the young woman in September, stopped arresting women walking bareheaded in the streets and take them to the police station.

In early December, Iranian Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said that the vice police units, also known as Gasht-e Ershad
orientation patrol, had been closed.

But activists remain skeptical of the statement, which appears to be an off-the-cuff response to a question posed at a conference rather than a clear announcement from the Home Office.

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