Iran has introduced 2,000 new morality police units in reaction to what officials call an “increasing defiance” of the compulsory wearing of hijabs.
The units, called “resistance groups for verbal and practical response to bad-hijabi women”, were launched recently in the northern province of Gilan as part of a pilot scheme.
The move comes amid a growing backlash by women in the Islamic Republic, hundreds of whom have been arrested for taking off their head coverings in public in protest at the law.
A campaign by rights activists called “White Wednesday” encouraging women to wear white and discard their hijabs has also gained support, much to the consternation of the country’s conservative clerics.
The police units reportedly have the power to fine women who are not sufficiently covered.