Iran, Women
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Inside Iran’s “morality police” – women use their smartphones to fight back

With black chadors over their uniforms, officers of Iran’s “guidance patrols” are a scourge for Iranian women who want to wear bright colours and push the limits of the Islamic Republic’s dress code. But some Iranian women are fighting back, using their smartphones to document what happens once they are arrested.

The Gasht-e-Ershad (guidance patrol) is Iran’s morality police. Part of the regular police force, its male and female officers are charged with enforcing Islamic codes in Iranian society, and have the power to arrest people they think are violating them. While the total number of its officers is unknown, a spokesman said the force made 207,000 arrests between March 2013 and March 2014, and notified a total of 2 million women that their hijab (Islamic dress) was not correct.

Under Iran’s Islamic law, women are supposed to cover everything except their face and hands. Conservative women wear the chador – a black garment that covers the head and goes down to the ankles. But other women choose to wear a scarf that covers their hair, a knee-length “manteau”, or coat, with sleeves to the wrist, and a skirt or trousers.

In recent weeks, a series of videos has emerged on social media showing what happens when women are arrested by the morality police. Many of the videos – filmed surreptitiously inside the patrols’ white and green vans, and inside police stations where women are questioned – have been posted to a Facebook page called “My Stealthy Freedom”.

Initially published on France24 on 05/24/2017
Read the full story here.

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