Iran charges two more actresses for not wearing hijab

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Iran has charged two more actresses for violating the country’s dress code for women, the latest in a series of similar indictments against celebrities in the Islamic Republic, local media reported Monday.

Separate legal cases against Baran Kosari, 37, and Shaghayegh Dehghan, 44 -- both known for roles in Iranian cinema -- were filed after they appeared in public without headscarves in recent days, according to media reports.

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If prosecuted, the actresses could face fines or prison terms.

Kosari’s case was “sent to the judiciary” after she attended the funeral of actor Hesam Mahmoudi without a headscarf on Friday, Tasnim news agency said.

“Her photos were immediately published on the internet and some media,” the news agency added.

Dehghan was similarly charged for “not wearing a hijab in a cafe,” Mehr news agency reported Monday.

“Earlier legal cases had been filed against actresses Katayoun Riahi, Pantea Bahram, Afsaneh Baygan and Fatemeh Motamed-Aria for removing their headscarves,” the agency added.

Some of the indicted actresses have won awards for their work in Iranian cinema, including at the country’s leading industry event, the Fajr International Film Festival.

The number of women defying Iran’s dress code has increased since a wave of protests following the September death in custody of Kurdish-Iranian Mahsa Amini, 22, after her arrest for allegedly breaching it.

On Sunday, Iran’s lead prosecutor asked the country’s transport minister to ensure women on planes observe the dress code, the IRNA state news agency reported.

Also on Sunday, the head of Iranian athletics resigned following a controversy caused by women competing in events without the mandatory headscarves, IRNA reported.

The requirement for women to wear the headscarf in public was imposed shortly after the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Last month, authorities said they had closed 150 commercial establishments whose employees were not complying with the dress code.

Iran’s police also said in April they would begin using “smart” technology in public places to spot women violating the mandatory dress code.

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