TEHRAN: Draconian punishments, including fines and even imprisonment, are to apply in Iran in the future to women who violate the strict requirement to wear a headscarf, reported German news agency (dpa).

Members of Parliament voted on Wednesday to introduce the controversial law on a trial basis for a period of three years, according to the state news agency IRNA.

The reform, in its latest version, provides for harsh penalties, including fines for multiple violations.

In extreme cases, up to 15 years’ imprisonment and fines of more than €5,000 (US$5,350) can be imposed. Foreign women could be expelled from the country.

Celebrities are to be punished particularly severely for violations, with the draft providing for professional bans of up to 15 years. The judiciary could also confiscate one tenth of their assets.

During the recent wave of protests in the autumn, sparked by the death of Masha Amini, an Iranian-Kurdish women arrested by Iran’s morality police for not wearing her headscarf properly, numerous film-makers demonstrated their solidarity with the women’s movement.

The government already pushed the bill a month ago. In a political ploy, a commission approved the criminal reform without a vote in the plenum of Parliament. As a last step, the reform will now be submitted to the Guardian Council, a supervisory body made up of arch-conservative clerics.

The penal reform is a response by the clerical and political leadership to the protests against the republic led by women in the autumn of 2022.

While everyday life has returned to the country, numerous women in the big cities oppose the headscarf requirement – also as a sign of silent protest. Hardliners had been calling for tougher action against the numerous violations for months.-Bernama

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