Iran: 'morality police' to resume hijab patrols

With the protest movement in Iran now in abeyance, Tehran's national Police Command announced July 16 that the feared "morality police" will resume patrols enforcing the mandatory wearing of the hijab by the country's women. Formally known as the Guidance Patrols (Gasht-e Ershad), the force created in 2006 was that which arrested Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, last September. Her death in custody three days later sparked the uprising that has now lasted for 10 months. The patrols were suspended for review as the protests mounted last December. Article 638 of Iran's Islamic Penal Code states that: "Women who appear in public without prescribed Islamic dress (hejab-e-shar'i), shall be sentenced to either imprisonment of between 10 days and two months, or a fine of between 50,000 and 500,000 rials." (Jurist, BBC News, MEE)

Iran tightens security before anniversary of Mahsa Amini death

Ahead of the one year anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini Sept. 16, Iranian authorities heightened their presence in cities across the country Friday in anticipation of protests. One year after the death sparked mass protests, the mandatory hijab law is still in place, and Iran's leadership still denies Amini was beaten to death. But in the streets of the capital, Tehran, more women openly walk without the hijab. (Jurist, PBS)

Iran: morality police accused in new atrocity

Activists have accused Iran’s morality police of assaulting a teenage girl for not wearing a headscarf in a Tehran metro station, leading to her hospitalization with serious injuries.

A Norway-based group focused on Kurdish rights, the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, said that 16-year-old Armita Geravand was "assaulted" by morality police and has been in a coma since Sunday. Another opposition network, IranWire, said it had obtained information that Geravand was admitted to the hospital with "head trauma." (CNN)

Imprisoned Iranian woman wins Nobel Peace prize

Imprisoned Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi has won the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize. Announcing the decision, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said Mohammadi, 51, was honored for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran. Last arrested on Nov. 16, 2021, Mohammadi is currently serving a 12-year sentence in Evin Prison in Tehran for charges that include spreading propaganda against the state.

Mohammadi is the second Iranian woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize after Shirin Ebadi won the award in 2003. (FLD, Al Jazeera, BBC News)

Iran: teenage girl 'brain dead' after encounter with police

Armita Geravand, a teenage girl who was seen unconscious after apparently encountering police officers on a train without wearing hijab on Oct. 1, is said to be "brain dead," according to Iranian media reports.

Teheran subway television surveillance shows that 16-year-old Geravand, on her way to school, entered the metro carriage from Shohada station at around 7 AM with her hair uncovered. A few minutes later, her unconscious body was dragged out of the carriage. She was sent to hospital and has been in a coma since then. What happened within the few minutes after she entered the train remains unknown. (Jurist)

Iran: journalists who reported on protests get prison terms

The Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced two female journalists who covered the Mahsa Amini protests in 2022 to prison Oct. 22, according to Mizan News Agency, the judiciary's media arm. The journalists, Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi, were charged with collaboration with the US government as well as acting against national security. Mohammadi received six years imprisonment, while Hamedi received seven years. (Jurist)

Iran: youth dies after encounter with morality police

The official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported Oct. 28 that teenager Armita Geravand died after weeks in a comatose state attributed to severe brain injuries. Geravand apparently sustained these injuries during an encounter with morality police officers at a Tehran metro station Oct. 1, where she was found not wearing a hijab. (Jurist)

Iran lawyer arrested after attending Armita Geravand funeral

Lawyer and human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested in Iran on Oct. 29 after attending the funeral of Armita Geravand, a teenager who died after a month in intensive care due to brain injuries apparently inflicted by the morality police. (Jurist)

Imprisoned Iranian Nobel laureate begins hunger strike

Imprisoned Iranian human right activist Narges Mohammadi has begun a hunger strike, a month after she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, her family says.

The 51-year-old is protesting against Iran's denial of medical care to her and other inmates and its mandatory hijab law, according to a statement. She needs treatment for heart and lung conditions but a prosecutor is blocking her transfer to hospital, it says. Last week, her family said that was because she refused to cover her hair. (BBC News)

Iran: security forces used sexual violence to crush uprising

Iranian security forces used rape and sexual violence to torture and punish protesters, some as young as 12, during the country’s nationwide protests last year, according to a new report by Amnesty International. Since the protests broke out in September 2022, over 19,000 people have been arrested, and at least 500 protesters, including children, have been killed. The report describes sexual violence as a "key weapon" in the repression. (TNH)

Anti-woman crackdown continues in Iran

Iran's Mizan News Agency reported Jan. 15 that the judiciary has launched a new case against journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi following their release on bail earlier tat day. The two had appeared in front of a crowd outside the prison without wearing the hijab, prompting new charges. Iranian authorities arrested Hamedi and Mohammadi during the national protests in September 2022.

In October 2023, Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced Hamedi to 13 years in prison and Mohammadi to 12 on charges collaboration with the US government, colluding to commit crimes against the nation's security, and propaganda against the state.

They are currently appealing these sentences and were released on bail on Jan. 14, appearing in front of the prison to reunite with dozens of family members in a tearful reunion. Photos and videos were posted on social media celebrating the women. Hours later, it was announced that, because they appeared unveiled, new charges were being brought against them. (Jurist)

The regime meanwhile sentenced Narges Mohammadi, the imprisoned human rights activist who received the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize, to an additional 15 months. She is accused of spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic while in prison. (BBC News)

UN report sees rights violations in Iran protest response

The UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran unveiled a report March 8 alleging widespread human rights violations committed by the Iranian government, particularly in response to the "Woman, Life, Freedom" protests that began in September 2022. (Jurist)

UN fact-finding mission: death of Mahsa Amini was unlawful

The Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFMI), mandated by the UN Human Rights Council, concluded on March 18 that the death of Mahsa Amini while in custody was unlawful and resulted from violence. (Jurist)