As the rest of the world is continuing its fight against the coronavirus, the Iranian government is concentrating on increasing the activities of its security forces; preferring to arm militias with guns, rather than medical staff with personal protective equipment.
Why? Because authorities want to quell any opposition and further upcoming protests. This can be seen in the actions that they have taken over the past month, including:
- Putting Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) “hit squads” in every neighborhood to stop protests in the planning stage
- Creating a central headquarters to arrest protesters
- Sentencing protesters to death and executing those on death row
- Increasing control on social media by arresting and summoning users
- Launching Hijab campaigns (Nazer) to enforce the mandatory veil and suppress women
This aims to suppress freedoms and frighten society to prevent protests, largely led by women.
With that in mind, let’s look more closely at the mandatory hijab, which is opposed by a massive 70 percent of the country.
The punishment for a woman appearing publically without her hair completely covered can include long-term prison sentences and 74 lashes under the ridiculous charge of “spread of corruption and prostitution”. Activist Saba Kord Afshari was given 24 years in prison for opposing mandatory Hijab.
But these measures aren’t working and there’s a 5 percent decrease every year in the number of people who support mandatory Hijab, with even religious areas widely opposing it. In fact, there are 110 laws, directives, and ratified documents on Hijab that the clerical rule just can’t enforce.
So, officials are trying to make it less safe for women who oppose mandatory Hijab by urging for the State Security Force (SSF) to have greater powers to deal with offenders.
Now, the “Nazer” Hijab Campaigns have sent thousands of armed militants out into the streets to harass, attack, and arrest women and girls who are not observing the Hijab, but the true objective is to scare women out of anti-establishment activities because they see women as the power players in the Resistance.
Women must now observe the Hijab in their cars (or when passengers in a car), in shops, recreation areas, and even in photos online, summoning users who might post a photo of themselves in their own house not wearing the Hijab. Even female students must submit a photo of themselves wearing the Hijab for their online profile or they face being banned from class.
The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) wrote: “In the present volatile state of Iranian society, the government seeks to ramp up repression through suppression of women. They send their repressive forces to the streets to crack down on women during their Hijab Campaigns. These suppressive measures, however, will only act as a catalyst expediting the eruption of anti-regime protests. They will lead to uprisings which will eventually overthrow the mullahs’ tyrannical regime.”