Iran to women defying hijab laws: Clean morgues, take psychiatric treatment | World News - Hindustan Times
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Iran to women defying hijab laws: Clean morgues, take psychiatric treatment

Aug 07, 2023 06:43 AM IST

Iran Hijab Laws: A court in Tehran province sentenced another woman to spend a month cleaning corpses in a morgue when she was caught driving without a hijab.

Iran's government is sending women who defy the strict hijab law for counselling as healthcare organisations warned that the country's judiciary is using mental medicine for this purpose, France 24 reported. As more and more women flout the stringent restrictions including Iranian actress Afsaneh Bayegan who has repeatedly posted photos of her unveiled hair on Instagram and recently attended a public ceremony without a hijab, Iran's government continues to crackdown on dissent.

Iran Hijab Law: An Iranian flag flutters.(Reuters)
Iran Hijab Law: An Iranian flag flutters.(Reuters)

Afsaneh Bayegan, 61, was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence and told to go to a "psychological centre" once a week to “treat her anti-family personality disorder”, it was reported after a court in Tehran province sentenced another woman to spend a month cleaning corpses in a morgue when she was caught driving without a hijab.

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“The sentence that [Bayegan] was given sets an example,” Azadeh Kian, an Iran specialist and professor of political science at Université Paris Cité, explained after many women in the country chose to give up wearing the hijab since the custodial death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022. She was detained by Iran’s morality police for “improperly” wearing her headscarf. Other Iranian celebrities, athletes and actresses have followed suit in solidarity.

Iranian judges recently “diagnosed” actress Azadeh Samadi with an “antisocial personality disorder” after she wore a hat instead of a hijab at a funeral. She will also have to seek therapy weekly in a “psychological centre”, the court ruled.

In an open letter sent to the head of the country’s judiciary, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei- the presidents of four mental health organisations in Iran- accused authorities of “exploiting psychiatry” for other purposes.

“Diagnosing mental health disorders is the responsibility of psychiatrists, not judges,” the letter read.

What other measures have been taken by Iran?

Authorities have been handing out hefty fines, sending text messages if women are spotted driving without a hijab, confiscating vehicles and even pressuring employers to get women fired, the report claimed. Women not wearing a hijab have even been refused hospital treatment as well and shops catering to them have been forced to shut down, France 24 reported.

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