Iranian police have resumed surveillance of women wearing the hijab (Islamic veil) in cars. This was reported by local media after more than a hundred days of protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini just as she was being arrested by vice squads for not wearing the veil correctly.
“Police have started the new phase of the Nazer-1 program (surveillance in Farsi) across the country,” a “senior police official” told Fars News Agency. “Nazer-1 concerns the lack of hijabs in cars,” with police sending a text message to those who violate it,” he explained. According to the agency, the message will read: “The absence of the veil was observed in your car. It is necessary to respect the norms of society and not to repeat this act”. The threat contained in an earlier version of the report that “repeated offenses will result in legal and judicial consequences” has been removed.
The Nazer program was launched by the police in 2020. After the demonstrations following the death of Mahsa Amini, the vice squad stopped arresting women who walked the streets bareheaded and took them to the police station. In early December, Iran’s Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said the deputy police units, known as Gasht-e Ershad (“vehicle patrol”), had been shut down. Activists remained skeptical, however, as the decision appeared to be more of an impromptu response to a question at a conference than a clear announcement from the Home Office.
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