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Iranian police set up smart cameras to catch women without hijabs

The smart cameras can identify women not wearing hijabs, and those women will receive text messages warning them to follow the hijab law

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A woman holds a placard with a picture of Iranian Mahsa Amini as she attends a protest against her death, in Berlin, Germany.

A woman holds a placard with a picture of Iranian Mahsa Amini as she attends a protest against her death, in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. Nasreen Shakarami, the mother of Nika Shakarami said Friday, Oct. 7, the teen was killed by repeated blows to the head as part of Iran’s crackdown on anti-hijab protests roiling the country.

Markus Schreiber, Associated Press

Over the weekend, Iranian police set up cameras with in public areas to catch women who aren’t wearing hijabs — thus breaking Iran’s hijab law that requires women to cover their hair in public.

The smart cameras can identify the women not wearing hijabs, and those women will receive text messages warning them to follow the hijab law, Reuters reported.

“In an innovative measure and in order to prevent tension and conflicts in implementing the hijab law, Iranian police will use smart cameras in public places to identify people who break the norms,” the state-aligned Tasnim news agency said, quoting police, per CNN.

Why have more women been avoiding wearing hijabs in Iran?

Women have continued to ignore hijab laws in protest after a 22-year-old woman was arrested by morality police in September for allegedly violating the law by wearing a “loose hijab.”

Shortly after being taken into custody, Mahsa Amini died, with many witnesses and human rights groups claiming the police beat her to death, Deseret News reported.

Protests erupted in the country shortly after, largely led by young women. Police cracked down on protests and and some protesters were detained and continue to be detained. Protests died down after the police took stronger actions against protesters, but women continued to protest in silence by not wearing hijabs in public.

What is Iran’s hijab law?

According to BBC, the law has been in place since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. “Women who violate the law face fines or arrest.”

The move to install the cameras appears to be a response to the silent protests.

“People who remove their hijab in public places will be warned first and presented to the courts as a next step,” Iran’s police chief, Ahmad-Reza Radan, said in an interview with state television, per The Guardian.