Iran: Two Women Hit by a Car for Not Wearing Head Coverings

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Iranian women wearing hijab walk down a street in the capital Tehran on February 7, 2018.
Iranian women wearing hijab walk down a street in the capital Tehran on February 7, 2018.Credit: ATTA KENARE / AFP

Two women were seriously injured in Iran on Monday after a man allegedly ran them over with his car because they weren't wearing head coverings, according to local media reports.

During the incident in Urmia in north-western Iran, the driver loudly protested the women's outfit choices, saying they were un-Islamic, according to the Ilna news agency.

This led to a dispute and then he allegedly rammed the women with his car, running them over.

The women sustained serious injuries but are no longer in a life-threatening condition, according to Ilna.

The driver allegedly attempted to flee the scene but was later arrested.

Judicial officials condemned the attack and said they would not condone vigilante justice.

Masoumeh Ebtekar, vice president for women's affairs in Iran, called the attack attempted murder and demanded a harsh punishment.

Ever since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, girls aged nine and older are required to follow Islamic law regarding what they wear. That means a head covering and a long cloak or robe that covers up their hair and the contours of their body.

However, 42 years later, the rules remain unpopular among the majority of women. It is becoming more common in large cities to see women out without the hijab, the customary head covering.

The hijab law is becoming more controversial. Police and justice officials say it is impossible to enforce, since doing so would require hundreds of arrests a day.

At the same time, large parts of the population believe that a failure to wear the hijab will lead to deteriorating morals in the country. There are protests calling for the hijab rules to be enforced, which sometimes result in violence.

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