Iranian water park closed after women allowed in without hijab

Mojhaye Khoroushan park, one of the world's largest, accused of 'ignoring chastity rules'

The Mojhaye Khoroushan Water Park is on the outskirts of Mashhad city in north-eastern Iran. Photo: Foursquare
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Iranian authorities have closed down a water park after women were admitted to the park without the mandatory hijab, local media reported on Monday.

The Mojhaye Khoroushan water park was closed on Sunday evening, Fars news agency reported, quoting manager Mohammad Babaei. It said customers were "ignoring chastity and hijab" rules.

The closure of the park, one of the largest in the world, has left 1,000 employees facing an uncertain future, Mr Babaei said.

Scores of businesses have been closed in recent months as Tehran clamps down further on women's freedom, already vastly curtailed under the decades-long rule of the regime.

Book shops, cafes and clothing stores have been forced to shut after orders from authorities, who have threatened action against businesses serving women without the hijab required since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Women who have chosen to shun the hijab have also been barred from universities and dismissed from their jobs.

The latest closure comes just a week before the first anniversary of the largest anti-regime protests in years, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in morality police custody.

The young Kurdish woman was detained for allegedly wearing her hijab too loosely. Relatives said she was beaten to death by morality police officers.

Demonstrations erupted across Iran after her funeral, spreading to every province and prompting a bloody crackdown from Tehran, in which more than 500 people died.

Although many women chose to defy the strict dress code before last year's protests, Tehran's response to the movement has emboldened many more to ignore the rules and demonstrate their anger.

Social media users continue to post images and videos of women without the hijab walking on the streets, with many being confronted by morality police and supporters of the conservative regime.

Tehran metro has also barred women without a hijab from boarding trains, while security cameras have been set up on roads to identify women without the headscarf in their cars.

Updated: September 05, 2023, 5:54 AM