Iran’s Mana has not veiled her hair since Mahsa Amini’s death in September. She has received insults from the Police and they have thrown food scraps at her for walking through Tehran without her hijab. But she has not been detained or forced to cover up. Even when?.
The long hair to the air has become a common image in some parts of the Persian country, in particular in Tehran and in the universities, since the death of Amini in police custody after being arrested precisely for not wearing the veil properly.
The Amini’s death sparked the biggest protests in decades against the Islamic Republicled by young people shouting “woman, life freedom”which have almost disappeared after a repression that has caused almost 500 deaths and in which four protesters have been hanged.
But many women still do not wear the veil, mandatory in Iran since 1983, shortly after the revolution led by Ayatollah Ruholá Khamenei in 1979, who defined the garment as the “flag of the revolution” and without which women were “naked ”.
DOUBTS ABOUT THE VEIL
The big question now is whether the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, and the Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, will allow women to continue without covering themselves with the veil, that “flag of the revolution.”
“I think they are going to force us to wear the veil again”tells EFE Mana, a 40-year-old resident of Tehran, with a “piercing” in one eyebrow and striking punk-style earrings.
She completely abandoned the use of the veil after the death of Amini, she does not even carry one in her bag or around her neck and in recent weeks she has been paying for it.
“The police call me a bitch for walking down the street without the veil”, account. They also call her “lesbian” and “boy” probably because of her relatively short hair and they have even thrown food scraps at her.
”The agents have thrown apple scraps and things like that at me when I passed by them”, says. This has happened to him several times in the central Valiasr square in Tehran, where riot police are stationed.
She has also turned down jobs because they required her to wear a headscarf, to avoid trouble with the authorities.
Despite everything, she refuses to wear the veil.
“I’m going to continue without a veil until I have no choice but to put it on,” says this woman who declares herself “tired” of laws that she considers “unacceptable.”
But she believes that one way or another they will force her, along with the other Iranians, to veil herself again.
“I’ve heard that they are going to use new technologies to detect women who don’t wear headscarves,” she says.
Mana refers to the December announcement of the supposed end of the Morality Police, which will be replaced by “new technologies” and “more modern methods,” according to what the authorities reported at the time.
There has been speculation about the possible use of cameras and facial recognition techniques to fine and even block the bank accounts of women who do not wear the veil, but the issue has not yet been clarified.
In fact, the institutional messages are contradictory. Khamenei recalled in early January that the veil is mandatorybut He called “not to accuse of irreligious and counterrevolutionary” women who do not use it.
But days later the country’s Attorney General’s Office asked the Police to “firmly punish” the violations in the use of the hijab and recalled that The penalties for this “crime” range from 10 days to two months in prison..
And he added that it can also be punished with other measures such as “exile, the prohibition to work or leave the country or the obligation to perform public services”among others.
As things are, there is some uncertainty and, above all, a tense calm in the country, waiting for how the situation evolves.
Another resident of Tehran believes that the government is waiting for the dust to calm down to re-impose the veil.
“If they use force now to make women wear the veil, they could revitalize the protests,” he says.
But he does not doubt that sooner or later it will happen one way or another.
“They are not going to allow us to stop wearing the veil, it is one of their symbols,” he says.
(with information from EFE)
Despite the protests, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei defended the imposition of the Islamic veil on Iranian women: “It is a religious obligation”
Iranian Police Resume Strict Control of Veiling for Women Driving Cars
The UN demanded a swift and impartial investigation into the death of Mahsa Amini while in custody in Iran