Iran’s parliament on Wednesday approved a bill to impose heavier penalties on women who refuse to wear the mandatory Islamic headscarf in public and those who support them.
The move came just days after the anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who had been detained by the morality police for violating the country’s dress code. Her death in custody ignited months of protests in which many called for the overthrow of Iran’s theocracy.
The bill also extends punishments to business owners who serve women not wearing the mandatory headscarf, known as hijab, and activists who organize against it. Violators could face up to 10 years in prison if the offense occurs in an organized way.
The bill, which was approved by 152 lawmakers in Iran’s 290-seat parliament, requires ratification by the Guardian Council, a clerical body that serves as constitutional watchdog. It would take effect for a preliminary period of three years.
The demonstrations sparked by Amini’s death on Sept. 16, 2022, faded early this year following a heavy crackdown on dissent in which more than 500 protesters were killed and over 22,000 detained.