Students at Tehran's University of Science and Technology protesting against tightened restrictions. April 24, 2022

Students at Tehran's University of Science and Technology protesting against tightened restrictions. April 24, 2022

Tehran Students Protest Against Tightened Dress Code Restrictions

4/24/2022

A large group of students held a demonstration at their Tehran university against tightened measures by morality guards to force students to comply with hijab.

Students of the University of Science and Technology held a gathering and a march at their campus to protest the atmosphere of fear, intimidation and interference of morality guards to force them to comply with Islamic dress and other codes.

The rally took place four days after a member of the Islamic Association of the university was beaten while distributing a statement against the newly enforced measures by morality guards and and supervisors at the women’s dormitories.

The students chanted slogans against the measures and the morality guards and university authorities such as "Girls' dormitory is a prison cell" and "We do not want police-style guards".

Iran international reported on Friday that some universities in the capital Tehran have tightened dress code restrictions as the students have started to attend in person after over two years of virtual classes due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In an unprecedented move, morality guards of the University of Science and Technology and Amirkabir University began motorcycle patrols to force students comply with hijab and other Islamic regulations.

Other guards who are stationed at the gates of the university and its dormitories have also been unprecedently strict since universities reopened, students said, denying access to those whose appearance is not deemed "appropriate".

The university security is also tasked with watching over the social and political behavior of students and the new motorcycle patrols started to check if the students are always observing the hijab rules, and if male and female students sit and mingle together on the campus. If they saw anyone who didn’t comply with the regulations, they wrote down their student numbers, which means they could face more severe consequences if they repeat such behavior.

Similar measures have also been reported in other universities of the capital Tehran, with some students describing the unprecedented restrictions as similar to those imposed by the Taliban.

On Wednesday, students at the Iran University of Science and Technology wrote an open letter in protest to the new restrictions, saying “University is not a barracks, and the dormitory is not a prison”.

The Islamic Students Associations of the University of Tehran and Tehran University of Medical Science also wrote to the president of their universities in the past few days to criticize the new measures.

Students say after the re-opening of higher education institutions this year, the atmosphere has greatly changed. Authorities appointed after hardline President Ebrahim Raisi was elected, they say, are apparently finding it a good time to enforce an aggressive approach to Islamic discipline on students.

Since hijab became compulsory in Iran, within a couple of years from the Islamic Revolution of 1979, all government offices and universities have had special officers monitoring women's abidance by the rules of compulsory hijab and preventing those failing to meet their standards of modesty from entering the premises.

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