Iran: high-tech crackdown on hijab resistance
An Iranian government entity enforcing Islamic rules says the Intelligence Ministry has arrested 300 anti-hijab activist "ringleaders" working "for the enemy." A spokesman of the Enjoining Good & Forbidding Evil Headquarters said Sept. 11 that the activists were arrested in accordance with the new Hijab & Chastity Regulations, which officially extend the mandatory hijab to social media posts. This is to be monitored by the government's facial recognition software that was previously used during the pandemic to track if people were wearing face masks.
There were "flash mob" protests in Tehran last month after a woman who was arrested for defying the new regulations appeared on state television to give what rights monitors say was a forced confession as a result of torture. Sepideh Rashno, 28, was arrested in July after footage circulated online of her being harassed on a bus over "improper clothing." According to the Hrana human rights group, she was taken to hospital with internal bleeding shortly after her arrest. Rashno remains in custody.
On Sept. 16, a 22-year-old woman who had been arrested for defying the hijab rules died in custody—officially of a heart attack. But eye-witnesses said Mahsa Amini was beaten while inside a police van when she was picked up in Tehran three days earlier.
See our last report on the politics of the veil.