Monday, August 09, 2004

Iran: Don't dress like models

Iran: Don't dress like models: "Iran: Don't dress like models
09/08/2004 17:03 - (SA)


Tehran - The chief of Iran's police has told women not to dress up like "models", amid fresh signs on Monday of a mounting crackdown on skimpy dressers still defying the Islamic republic's dress code.

"In accordance with the law, the police are confronting people who appear in public in an indecent and inappropriate way, and who are regarded by the law enforcement officials as models," police chief Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf told the official news agency IRNA.

"This is social deviancy and cannot be solved by normal police operations," Ghalibaf added.

Noting that many arrests have taken place in the past two months, he said one of the initiatives in dealing with poorly-veiled women and girls was to invite their parents to meetings organised by the police.

What is fashion?

His comments coincided with state television beginning to dedicate a part of its main news programme to "what is fashion?" - a series of interviews with residents, clerics and "experts" aimed at defining what can and cannot be worn.

For the past several months police have been carrying out a series of operations across the capital Tehran, rounding up large numbers of young women sporting flimsy headscarves, three-quarter length trousers and shape-revealing coats.

Witnesses said the detainees - picked up in parks, fast food restaurants or from sidewalks - have been briefly hauled into police stations and subjected to lessons on morality before being freed.

Women ignoring the Islamic dress code can be jailed for up to two months or fined between 50 000 and 500 000 rials (six and 60 dollars).

Pre-summer crackdowns are common at the outset of the hot summer months, but the latest sweep appears to be more determined and is seen as a reflection of the recent shift to the right within the regime. - AFP"

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