Clampdown on civil liberties has been stepped up in Iran under various pretexts in the past few months.
The new wave of suppression especially targets the women with the regime introducing new plans to deal with what it deems “unchaste” and “improper”.
On July 18, Iran’s Chief of Police cited the “Observer One” plan, enforced against women who refuse to don the veil in their cars in comments carried by the state-run IRNA news agency.
Hossein Ashtari said that 3,000 text messages had been sent to these women, adding that only 150,000 of them came to the police to commit themselves to not repeating their conduct.
Ashtari boasted that there were 32 organizations in the regime charged with carrying out social suppression.
The state-run websites also reported that morality patrol divisions have been launched in Khorasan Razavi Province, northeastern Iran to further crackdown on women.
On June 24, 2019, Gholami, head of provincial affairs of the morality and vice patrols headquarters in Khorasan Razavi , said “In the formation of the morality patrol divisions, the province will be divided into 60 regions, 50 percent of these areas will be in the center of the province.
Which will act as scouting groups.” He added, “So far, 12 governorates have begun their work with more than 8,000 troops, and by the end of this year, the morality patrol divisions in all cities of the province.”
He said this year all the executive agencies are required to activate the council.
Yusef Tabatabai Nejad, Imam of Friday Prayer in Isfahan, also said that the Basij should engage in promoting virtue and prohibiting vice of women on the basis of improper veiling. In comments carried by the Revolutionary Guards affiliated Tasnim News Agency on July 12, Tabatabai Nejad said: “The city’s atmosphere should head toward hijab and chastity, we must stand against abnormalities with force,” he said, stressing the need to fight improper veiling.
Previously, an IRGC commander in the northern province of Gilan announced the launch of a 2,000 strong Basij group to counter what the regime calls “improper hijab,” The state-run Mehr News Agency reported on June 4.
A case in point was last month when a young woman without a was is savagely dragged away by security forces after she and her friends were caught playing with a water pistol.
The video of the incident, widely circulated on social media, triggering discussions on social media.
According to state-run media, the police officers were thanked and received bonuses for beating up a defenseless girl.
In another development on July 6, Iran announced that new social media channels in Instagram and Iran’s own homegrown messaging services would be launched for ordinary Iranians to report each other’s “immoral” conduct to the Guidance Prosecutor.
AccordingTasnim, the head of the Tehran’s Guidance Prosecutor’s Office detailed what the state deemed “immoral”, instructing ordinary Iranians to take photos and videos and gather other information from their fellow citizens to report to the law.
The so called “Guidance Court” channel has asked Tehran citizens to report “any kind of non-observance of the hijab or acts that break the norms in automobiles, alcohol use, and holding mixed gender parties in places such as traditional restaurants, cafés, shopping centers and gardens” among other things.
Tehran citizens have also been instructed to report “immoral” content posted by social media users to the Guidance Prosecutor.
The Guidance Prosecutor’s Office has asked citizens to film the events they deem immoral and to send it to the social media channels.