Iran 'to ease headscarf law penalties'

Iran is planning to reform penalty guidelines for violations of its headscarf law, the reform-oriented Shargh newspaper reports.

The planned change by the incumbent hardliners will not mean any changes to the Islamic dress code, the newspaper said.

However should a woman violate the headscarf requirement, the reform would allow for first offenders to escape punishment if they give a written assurance that the violation will not be repeated.

But if the person is a repeat offender or refuses to sign, various penalties could be issued.

According to the newspaper report, the reform talks about community service, re-education courses, bans on leaving the country, employment restrictions and fines among other things.

The article's author predicted that the law would not find popular support.

Iranians have been demonstrating against the repressive policies for more than three months.

This was triggered by the death of Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in police custody.

She died in mid-September after being arrested by the so-called morality police for reportedly violating the headscarf ban.

She became a symbol of the wave of protests that plunged Iran into its worst political crisis in decades.

The reform made no mention of the morality guards, according to the newspaper.

For months now, the notorious morality police have almost completely disappeared from the streets, and many women in Iran's big cities now no longer wear headscarves.

Time and again, there are reports that the authorities intend to monitor dress codes in the future, for example with modern surveillance technology.