Tight trousers targeted in Iran crackdown

Last updated 00:00 01/01/2009
Reuters

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Iranian police will crack down on women in Tehran flouting Islamic dress codes with winter fashions deemed immodest, such as tight trousers tucked into long boots, according to a local police chief.

"Considering the start of the cold season and its special way of dressing, police will start early next week a drive against women who wear improper dress," Tehran police chief Ahmad Reza Radan was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

"Tight trousers tucked inside long boots while wearing short overcoats are against Islamic codes," the police chief said.

"Wearing a hat or cap instead of scarves is also against Islamic dress codes."

Police officials were not immediately available for comment. The Iranian week begins on Saturday.

Police regularly clamp down on skimpier clothing and looser headscarves in the summer. Usually this is for just a few weeks but this year the campaign has run into the autumn.

There has not recently been a move against winter fashion.

Enforcement of Islamic dress codes that require women to cover their hair and disguise the shape of their body with loose overcoats has become progressively sterner since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005.

Women found dressing inappropriately may be warned or, particularly for repeat offenders, can be taken to a police station and fined. Police this year have also cracked down on men sporting what are considered "Western" spiked haircuts.

In October, a newspaper said 122,000 people, mostly women, had been warned about their clothing and nearly 7,000 of those had to attend classes on respecting the rules.

Young women, particularly in wealthier urban areas, often challenge limitations by wearing tight clothing and colorful headscarves that barely cover their hair. The codes are less commonly challenged in poor suburbs and rural regions.

Iran has rejected criticism by rights groups of such crackdowns and said its efforts were aimed at "fighting morally corrupt people".

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- Reuters

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