Sunday, May 13, 2007

Iranian Fashion Police Back out on the Beat

17,135 warnings written.
850 pledges to respect the veil more written.
80 women (and 50 men) sent to the authorities.
Being able to trot around dressed as I please?

Iran stops 50 women at airport for un-Islamic dress.

Iranian police have prevented 50 women from boarding flights in their ongoing crackdown on dress styles deemed to be out of line with Islamic dress rules, officials said on Sunday.

"Fifty badly-veiled women were prevented from boarding domestic and international flights for failing to respect Islamic dress rules," said the head of airport police Mamoud Bot-Shekane, according to the Fars news agency. He said that the airport police have handed out "17,135 warnings to women who are not fully respecting the Islamic veil and 850 of them have had to make a written pledge to respect the veil more." Out of these, the cases of 80 women as well as 50 men have been sent to the judicial authorities, he added.

Iran's police have been enforcing a nationwide crackdown on slack dressing for the past three weeks -- a regular pre-summer event that has been pursued with increased vehemence this year. Some conservatives have applauded the crackdown as important to protect the security of society but moderates have publicly questioned whether Iran would be better off tackling poverty and crime rather than slack dressing.

Iran's police chief Esmaeeli Ahmadi Moghadam has insisted that the crackdown is not temporary and will continue.