Iranian woman confronts cleric filming her without hijab as Tehran tightens restrictions

Cleric run out of medical clinic after taking photographs of woman and baby

An Iranian woman confronts a cleric filming her without her hijab Photo: Screengrab from @IranIntl_En / X
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A woman in Iran has been filmed confronting a cleric in the city of Qom after he appeared to film her without her hijab as she sought medical treatment for her child.

In the CCTV footage shared by Farsi media outlets, the woman can be seen entering a medical clinic with her baby, before sitting in the waiting room.

The cleric is then seen taking a photo or video of the woman, before she quickly follows him and he is confronted by other women demanding he deletes images from his phone.

He is later seen running out of the clinic and is seemingly hit by the woman, who screams at him to delete the images. Some reports said the woman had been arrested and the clinic had been closed by authorities.

Iran’s judiciary has said a case has been opened and the incident is being investigated, but denied reports the clinic was closed or arrests were made.

"Rumours about the closure of the clinic or the cancellation of its licence are not true and no restrictive measures have been taken,” the judiciary’s Mizan news quoted the Qom prosecutor as saying.

Tehran has imposed a strict dress code on women since the revolution in 1979. It's heavy-handed enforcement of the law prompted the biggest protests in Iran's history after the death of Mahsa Amini in September 2021. She died in the custody of the so-called morality police after being arrested for allegedly flouting the hijab law.

The protests sparked a wave of resistance to the dress code among Iranian women, and the regime has since introduced a new law imposing severe penalties on people who break the law, with women who do not wear hijab in public now facing up to 10 years in prison.

Women who choose not to wear the hijab have also been banned from attending universities, dismissed from their jobs, and tracked inside their cars by specially installed security cameras.

Photographs of women with their hair uncovered have also been banned from gravestones, according to Farsi-language outlets.

The array of restrictions imposed by Tehran are largely monitored and enforced by Iran's morality police and plainclothes officers, who have also prevented women from entering shops and cafes without their hijab.

Women who have protested against the measures say their opposition extends far beyond Tehran's strict dress code, and is against wide-reaching rights violations imposed by the regime.

It is not the first time women have confronted clerics photographing them without their permission.

Activist Masih Alinejad, who founded the White Wednesdays movement, regularly shares videos of women confronting men who have warned women to wear the hijab or face arrest.

Updated: March 11, 2024, 8:10 AM