At least 20 coffee shops were shut down by the order of the Shiraz Department of Public Safety. In recent days in Shiraz, as a retaliation measure against a youth gathering to promote skateboarding on June 21, an annual ‘Go SkateBoarding Day’, authorities have taken strict measures to prevent similar cultural activities.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna News Agency, in Shiraz, at least 20 coffee shops were closed by the local authorities.
Earlier, on June 21, police arrested ten individuals for organizing a youth gathering called the “Go Skateboarding Day” event. Following the authorities’ requests for restrictive measures, the Shiraz Department of Public Safety shut down at least 20 coffee shops, which were considered skateboarding youth’s hangout locations.
According to one of the shop owners, the police had warned that they want the coffee shops closed by night time. The police did not provide any written notice. The same individual said it is unclear when the coffee shops would re-open.
The police and plainclothes agents have also increased the harassment of women in the streets allegedly for failing to comply with forced veiling. A few days after the event, some unverified pictures circulating on social media showed some individuals praying at the place of the event to repel the wrath of God for skateboarding.
Iran’s regime routinely violates citizens’ privacy rights and cultural activities, which they say are unlawful according to Islamic values.