Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Iran launches new crackdown on dress code offenders

From Iran Focus:
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian police will launch a crackdown next month on small companies which fail to enforce strict religious dress codes, Mehr News Agency reported on Wednesday.

The move indicates an expansion of a clampdown on "immoral" conduct launched last year against women flouting rules to cover their heads and disguise the shape of their bodies in public, in line with Iran's Islamic system.

"In the first stage, police will only confront companies ... that are active in small buildings or complexes," the head of the moral security police, Ahmad Rouzbehani, was quoted as saying.

Mehr said the move was "to prevent social damage" and the hijab, or veil, "should be respected". It said the campaign would start from around May 4.

Iran's religious codes require women to cover their hair and wear long, loose clothing to disguise their bodies in public, including offices where they may work with male colleagues.

Police sometimes check offices to ensure the codes are upheld and can shut them down. Some coffee shops have been closed after police said workers or customers were not meeting standards. Read more

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