Iranian MPs approve 10-year sentences for ‘revealing’ clothes

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Iran is expected to pass a new law that promises harsher consequences for women who refuse to wear the Islamic headscarf, including prison sentences of up to a decade for those who participate in organised rallies against the regulation.

The Islamic Consultative Assembly, the national parliament, passed the legislation on Wednesday, agreeing to implement the new rule for three years until it expires. Before the policy can be implemented, it must be approved by Iran’s Guardian Council, an oversight body comprised of religious and legal experts.

The law amends Tehran’s religious dress code, which has been in effect for both men and women since the country’s 1979 revolution, with over 70 articles specifying regulations and punishments for violations.

Women will be prohibited from wearing “revealing or tight clothing, or clothing that shows parts of the body lower than the neck, above the ankles, or above the forearms,” according to local media sources. “Revealing clothing that shows parts of the body lower than the chest, above the ankles, or shoulders” will be prohibited for men.

Iranians who are proven to be involved in organised protests against the dress code may face the heaviest sanctions under the new law, which proposes 10-year prison sentences for protestors who act in collaboration with “foreign governments, networks, media, groups, or organisations.” Penalties are also imposed on business owners who choose to serve women who are not wearing the headpiece or who promote “nudity.

Legislators passed the measure just days after the anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died while in the custody of Iran’s ‘morality police’ after she was accused of violating the hijab mandate. Her death kicked off months of violent protests across Iran, resulting in thousands of arrests and further loss of life among demonstrators and security forces.

The religious attire code has been criticised by the United Nations and other international humanitarian organisations. A panel of UN experts claimed last month that the hijab rule “could be described as a form of gender apartheid,” threatening “severe punishments on women and girls for noncompliance.”

Jamileh Alamolhoda, the wife of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, defended the country’s dress code in a recent interview with ABC News, claiming the restrictions were designed “out of respect for women” and were no different from other “dress codes everywhere.”

“I need to tell you that hijab was a religiously mandated tradition that was widely accepted.” And it has now been made a law for many years. And, like in any other case, disobeying the law, stomping on any laws.