The mandate of Hijab Monitors is to give verbal warnings, but in three percent of the cases, women resist their warnings. Armita Geravand was among those who resisted the warning
One of the semi-official dailies in Iran published the cliché of a highly confidential document by the Ministry of Interior, which indicated the presence of 2,850 Hijab Monitors in the metro stations. (The state-run Etemad daily newspaper, November 26, 2023)
The Iranian judiciary’s official news agency, Mizan, wrote Tehran’s Prosecutor had filed a complaint against Etemad newspaper for publishing a confidential document.
However, according to Article 11 of the law on publications and freedom of access to information, “A ratification or decision which is a general duty cannot be classified as government secrets and they must be published.”
The directive dated, May 30, 2023, addresses some of the government agencies, including Tehran’s Municipality, and the Metro Company of the Capital, and states, “Entry of individuals who remove their Hijab to government-run places is conditional on their observance of the legal dress code.”
The directive adds that in centers like the metro stations, men must be prohibited from entering the metro train for women. Taking photographs is forbidden in all parts of the Metro and inside the train wagons. Documents on those who violate this law should be prepared immediately.
The official IRNA news agency carried an interview with the Secretary of the Staff of Promotion of Good and Prohibition of Evil, on Saturday, November 25, 2023. Mohammad Hossein Taheri Akordi told IRNA that Hijab Monitors are “Jihadi forces.” He said there are more than 2,850 Hijab Monitors in Tehran whose activities are the product of “coordination among the IRGC, Bassij, State Security Force (SSF), Tehran’s Municipality, and the Prosecutor’s Office.”
Taheri Akordi said the mandate of these Hijab Monitors is to give “verbal warnings.” He said they work voluntarily and without receiving any salaries.
In early August this year, Iranian media revealed that Tehran’s Municipality had hired 400 Hijab Monitors to be stationed in the metro stations, with a monthly salary of 12 million Tomans.
Akordi also said in 97 percent of cases, women cover their hair upon receiving a verbal warning. This statement means that in 3 percent of cases, women resist the Hijab Monitors.
On October 1, this year, 17-year-old Armita Geravand resisted the warning of a Hijab Monitor inside a metro train, but was allegedly attacked by the agent and fell to the ground, suffering cerebral hemorrhage and
IRNA cited Ahmad Vahidi, the Interior Minister, as saying, “Verbal promotion of good and forbidding of evil is a general duty. It is publicly and legally sanctioned and does not require any licenses.” He added, “The Ministry of Interior supports those who promote good and forbid from evil before the law.” (The official IRNA news agency, November 25, 2023)
The daily Farhikhtegan also wrote on November 26, “Tehran’s Prosecutor sued the daily Etemad and filed a case against it for the illegal publishing of a top-secret document.”