Iran's Hijab Rule: No Veil, No Vehicle

Iran continues to strictly enforce its mandatory hijab laws, despite massive pushback from many Iranians. This time, the Islamic Republic released a new rule for drivers, ordering female passengers and drivers to wear hijabs while inside their vehicles or risk impoundment.

Fars News Agency, the state-owned news network connected to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), released a video explaining this new directive on April 17th as part of a broader campaign to further implement its mandatory dress code amidst increasing pressure and opposition from many Iranians.

The new rule, according to the video obtained and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), is in line with Article 638 of the Islamic Penal Code, along with new directives from the Interior Ministry and the Judiciary to the Public Security Police and from the “public demand.”

The two-minute video explained how this new hijab directive will work and apply to vehicle owners and passengers. The punishment for violating this rule will depend on whether the passenger, driver, and/or vehicle owner committed a first, second, or third (and succeeding) offense.

If authorities catch a female passenger or driver removing or not wearing a hijab for the first time, the police will send a warning via text message to the vehicle's owner. 

Those who want to dispute this warning can fill up the form in the message by clicking on the link below the text message. The video said the police would accept the objection unconditionally at first.

However, the video stated that if the offense were repeated for a second time, the car would be impounded for 15 days. During this time, the car's owner cannot use their vehicle, and no administrative services will be provided. The car would be automatically released from the 15-day impoundment if no similar offenses were committed during this time frame.

But if a similar offense is committed for a third time, the car will be impounded with no specific time frame, and the owner cannot drive it until further notice by authorities. The police will contact the vehicle owner at the first opportunity and discuss the next steps.

The car owner may be given the option to impound their car at their garage and clamp its wheels, or they will be given a parking space to park their vehicle and hand the receipt over to authorities. The car will be released only after all the legal steps are completed.

Earlier this month, the Islamic Republic forced Iranians to remove pictures of their deceased female family members that didn’t have a hijab in them. The continued push to strictly enforce the mandatory hijab laws also negatively affected Iran’s already–debilitating economy, with thousands of businesses closed, causing unemployment for tens of thousands of Iranians.

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