A view from Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran

Iran Extends Hijab Enforcement To Airports

Wednesday, 03/13/2024

After being implemented in metro stations, university campuses and a raft of public spaces, hijab enforcement by special agents has now been extended to Iran's airports.

Amid concerns about potential altercations between women and hijab enforcers, Reza Nakhjavani, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development, claims that hijab enforcement at airports is conducted in accordance with the laws of the country.

“Currently there is no law regarding the prohibition of entry for passengers without hijab onto airplanes, but order and discipline must prevail at airports," said Nakhjavani on Wednesday.

His remarks come amid heightened tensions surrounding the deployment of government-affiliated forces, commonly known as 'hijab enforcers,' particularly in the Tehran metro.

The controversy surrounding hijab enforcement in Iran gained international attention following the death of Mahsa Amini while in morality police custody. Amini's arrest in September 2022, on charges related to 'improper hijab,' sparked nationwide protests and catalyzed the Woman, Life, Freedom movement.

Amini's death was followed last year by another incident involving Armita Geravand, a teenage student, who was assaulted by hijab enforcers in the metro, leading to her eventual death after spending 28 days in a coma.

The situation has further escalated with reports of hijab enforcement forces extending their activities to university campuses, including the University of Tehran. Student councils have reported instances of harassment and intimidation by these forces, who claim to be enforcing dress codes on campus.

The crackdown on mandatory hijab defiance continues despite widespread condemnation, both domestically and internationally, rights groups branding the laws discriminatory and oppressive. The UN said the latest round of hijab laws are nothing less than gender apartheid. 

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