ABC News

The parliament in Iran has just passed new hijab laws that could see women jailed for up to 10 years for dressing inappropriately.

These laws have been labelled "a form of gender apartheid" by UN experts and described as a "a despicable assault on the rights of women" by Amnesty International.

0:00 Woman, Life, Freedom Protests in Iran
0:36 New Hijab Laws in Iran
1:19 Raisi & Khomenai Blame the US & Israel
2:17 Violent Crackdown on Protests
3:15 Iran's Parliament & Guardian Council
4:03 Iranian Protest Movement in 2023

All of this comes just days after the one year anniversary of the death in custody of Mahsa Jina Amini who had been arrested for improperly wearing a hijab. Her death is what sparked the massive protests in Iran that quickly spread worldwide. 

In Iranian law after puberty women are forced to cover their hair with a hijab in public and wear long & loose-fitting closing to hide their figure. Right now, failure to follow those rules can lead to a fine or a prison sentence of between 10 days to 2 months.

Under these new laws, being "inappropriately" dressed in public will now be subject to a "fourth degree" punishment which basically. can mean a prison sentence of 5-10 years. The bill also includes heavy punishments for promoting any organised acts of defiance of the dress code or even something as simple as "making fun of the hijab" online.

The regime in Iran has tried to justify all of this by saying that the most severe punishments will be for acts considered to be linked to hostile foreign forces. That may sound serious but what this actually means is an important part of understanding how the regime is trying to frame all of this.

The regime in Iran basically blames the entire movement on foreign forces and has repeatedly said it's a plot orchestrated by Israel and the United States without providing any evidence. It does this despite the fact that these protests were started in Iran by Iranian women and are being led & driven outside of Iran by the Iranian diaspora. This isn't a new tactic either. Blaming any internal unrest on foreign actors is something the regime has been doing since it came to power in 1979.

Over the past year authorities have been violently suppressing demonstrations arresting critics targeting the families of protesters and ramping up public surveillance. According to UN experts since the protests began, tens of thousands have been arrested and more than 520 people including at least 71 children have been killed. All of this has pushed a lot of the resistance inside of Iran underground. something covered in a recent report by the ABC. While large protests still regularly occur many have turned to other forms of defiance like public graffiti striking or simply ignoring dress code laws in public, which may partly explain why the regime is now bringing in harsher punishments for this.