France24 TV channel: Iran’s “Education Minister Youssef Nouri admitted that schoolchildren were being detained in the streets or at school and held in “medical psychological centres” where they were “re-educated” to prevent “anti-social” behaviour.”
The Iranian regime is subjecting women and girls to psychiatric confinement for daring to defy the Sharia-mandated Hijab Laws, the public broadcaster France24 reported Sunday.
According to the Iranian regime’s own admission, minor girls were being forced into psychiatric treatment for refusing to wear a hijab, or the Islamic headscarf. Iran’s “Education Minister Youssef Nouri admitted that schoolchildren were being detained in the streets or at school and held in “medical psychological centres” where they were “re-educated” to prevent “anti-social behaviour,” the French TV noted.
The shocking revelations come to light as Iran tightens the enforcement of the Sharia dress code for women despite nearly 11 months of anti-regime protests. Last month, the Morality Police were back on the streets looking for women violating the Hijab Laws. More than 500 Iranian died and around 20,000 were arrested since the nationwide protests erupted after 22-year-old Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, died at the hands of the Morality Police in mid-September 2022 for not wearing her headscarf properly.
The city of Tehran is now recruiting 400 people to form a new "Hijab Patrol" for subway stations.
Imaging hating women this much you hedge the future of your entire government on oppressing them.
That’s the Islamic republic of Iran pic.twitter.com/ZPT9Sgkds2
— Emily Schrader – אמילי שריידר امیلی شریدر (@emilykschrader) August 6, 2023
In a symbolic act of defiance, Iranian actress Afsaneh Bayegan has repeatedly posted photos of her unveiled hair on Instagram, and recently attended a public ceremony without a hijab.
The move irked Iranian authorities, who have been looking for new ways to force women into covering their hair. Bayegan, 61, was given a two-year suspended prison sentence and ordered to visit a “psychological centre” once a week to “treat her anti-family personality disorder”, the country’s Fars News Agency reported on July 19.
Many Iranian women have chosen to start showing their hair since the death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022 after being detained by Iran’s morality police for “improperly” wearing her headscarf. Iranian celebrities, athletes and actresses have followed suit in solidarity.
“The sentence that [Bayegan] was given sets an example,” explains Azadeh Kian, an Iran specialist and professor of political science at Université Paris Cité. Bayegan was one of Iran’s first cinema stars after the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and is a respected figure on Iranian television.
Bayegan’s case is not an isolated one. Iranian judges recently “diagnosed” Iranian actress Azadeh Samadi with an “antisocial personality disorder” after she wore a hat instead of a hijab at a funeral. Samadi will also have to seek therapy weekly in a “psychological centre”.
At the start of July, a Tehran court sentenced a woman to two months in prison and six months of psychological treatment for “a contagious psychological disorder that leads to sexual promiscuity” because she didn’t wear a hijab.
The surge in sentences forcing women to undergo psychological treatment has alarmed the Iranian psychiatric sector. In an open letter sent to the head of the country’s judiciary, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei, on July 23, the presidents of four mental health organisations accused authorities of “exploiting psychiatry” for other purposes.
“Diagnosing mental health disorders is the responsibility of psychiatrists, not judges,” they decried.
Their concerns are all the more serious given that even young children are not being spared. At the peak of the anti-government protests that broke out in Iran following Mahsa Amini’s death, Education Minister Youssef Nouri admitted that schoolchildren were being detained in the streets or at school and held in “medical psychological centres” where they were “re-educated” to prevent “anti-social” behaviour.
“You must obey the mandatory hijab law.”
“ You shut up and go.”
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) August 10, 2023
Besides ramping up Hijab patrols, the regime is deploying Chinese surveillance technology to identify and prosecute women violating the Islamic dress code. China’s Communist regime also trains the Iranian security forces to clamp down on dissent.
“Facial recognition technology and powerful tools for video and crowd surveillance, phone and text monitoring have all been supplied by Chinese companies, while Iranian government officials have reportedly received training on matters such as ‘manipulating public opinion,'” the France-based TV channel Euronews reported in April.
Much like the Soviet Union, China weaponizes psychiatry to torture its ideological opponents. Communist regimes throughout history have abused psychiatric institutions to lock-up dissidents and discredit criticism. With the military and strategic axis emerging between Shia-Islamic Iran and Communist China, Tehran appears to be perfecting the tools of suppression.DONATE
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