The judiciary in Iran has reported that a woman was subjected to 74 lashes for "breaching public morality" and was also penalised for not wearing a head covering, The New Indian Express reported.
Roya Heshmati, who was convicted, was reported by the judiciary's Mizan Online website late on Saturday (6 January) to have promoted permissiveness by presenting herself inappropriately in crowded public areas in Tehran.
The enforcement of her 74-lash penalty was executed in line with both the law and sharia, as a consequence of her transgressing public morals, according to Mizan.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, it has been a legal requirement for all women in Iran to cover their head and neck.
In Iran, punishments such as floggings for violations of the dress code are rare. However, there has been a noticeable increase in the enforcement of these rules by officials, particularly after a rise in such transgressions during the anti-government demonstrations that started towards the end of 2022.
The demonstrations were sparked by the demise of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, in September 2022 while in custody. She had been detained for supposedly violating the Islamic Republic's stringent dress code for women.
Throughout the demonstrations, women protesters boldly removed or even set fire to their headscarves. This act of defiance inspired more women to increasingly disregard the dress code, which subsequently led to a strict enforcement.
Hengaw, a rights group concentrating on Kurdish issues, recognised Heshmati as a 33-year-old woman with Kurdish roots.
Her lawyer, Maziar Tatai, informed the reformist Shargh daily that she had been detained in April for posting a picture on social media where she was not wearing a headscarf.
Tatai stated that Heshmati was additionally mandated to pay a penalty of 12 million rials for her failure to adhere to the public requirement of wearing a Muslim veil.
Authorities have set up monitoring devices in communal areas to oversee infractions and have closed enterprises that failed to adhere to the regulations.
Legislation that would increase the severity of punishments for violations of the dress code has also been debated in Iran's parliament.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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