Iranian officials lashed a lady 74 times for “violating public morals” and fined her for not covering her head, according to the judiciary, news agency AFP reported. “The convicted, Roya Heshmati, encouraged permissiveness (by appearing) disgracefully in busy public places in Tehran,” the judiciary’s Mizan Online website said late on Saturday. “Her penalty of 74 strokes of the lash was carried out by the law and with sharia,” and “for violating public morals,” Mizan said.
Since shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, all women in Iran have been compelled by law to cover their neck and head.
Whippings for violating the clothing code are unusual in Iran, but officials have increasingly taken down on people who disobey the regulations after the practice became popular during anti-government rallies in late 2022.
These demonstrations were sparked by the death in detention in September 2022 of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd detained for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s severe clothing code for women.
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Female protesters removed or burnt their headscarves during the demonstrations. Other ladies began to defy the clothing rule as well, prompting a crackdown.
Heshmati was recognised as a 33-year-old Kurdish lady by the Kurdish-focused rights group Hengaw.
She was detained in April “for publishing a photo on social media without wearing a headscarf,” according to her lawyer Maziar Tatai, who works for the reformist Shargh newspaper.
Heshmati was additionally fined 12 million rials (about $25) for “not wearing the Muslim veil in public,” according to Tatai.
Officials have put video cameras in public locations to monitor transgressions, and firms that have broken the regulations have been shut down.
Iran’s parliament has recently debated a plan to toughen punishments for people who violate the clothing code.