Iranian women protest obligatory headscarf; 29 Arrested!

  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5414

    Jan 30, 2018 4:54 AM GMT
    Iranian women protest obligatory headscarf,7340,L-5078056,00.html

    AP | Published: 01.29.18 , 23:47

    Social media postings Monday showed at least five women in Iran protesting the obligatory Muslim headscarf by taking theirs off and waving them on sticks.

    The videos and photos showed individual women in separate locations in Tehran and Isfahan.

    Masoud Sarabi, who witnessed one of the protests, confirmed the authenticity of a video shot on Tehran's Enghelab Street. The others appeared to be authentic, but The Associated Press could not independently verify them.

    The women appear to be following the lead of a 31-year-old protester identified as Vida Movahed, who took off her headscarf on the same street in late December. She was detained for a few weeks and then released.

    Women showing their hair in public can be jailed for up to two months or fined $25.
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5414

    Jan 31, 2018 2:59 AM GMT
    Second woman arrested in Tehran for hijab protest

    Woman was detained after standing on telecoms box to raise headscarf on a stick in repeat of protest last month


    A second woman has been arrested in Iran for protesting against the country’s compulsory hijab rules after standing on a telecoms box on a Tehran street, taking off her headscarf and holding it aloft on a stick.

    The protest follows a similar action last month against the country’s requirement that women cover themselves from head to toe in public.

    Pictures posted on social media on Monday showed at least three other women standing on top of telecoms boxes in Tehran in apparent solidarity with the women, including one near Ferdowsi Square.


    A widely shared smartphone image of the first protest showed a young woman standing on a telecoms box on Enghelab Street in the centre of the Iranian capital. The woman was later identified as 31-year-old Vida Movahed.

    Movahed’s act of resistance coincided with a wave of protests that spread across the country. Although they were not directly linked, her action embodied the aspirations of a movement of young Iranians frustrated with the lack of social and political freedoms.

    Many Iranians, including men, changed their social media profile pictures to images inspired by Movahed’s protest, and shared a hashtag that translated as “the girl of Enghelab Street”.

    Movahed’s identity was initially a mystery until Iran’s most prominent human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, established she had been arrested. Sotoudeh said on her Facebook page on Sunday that Movahed had been released.

    Sotoudeh, speaking to the Guardian on the phone from Tehran, said the second woman appeared on the same telecoms box at around 11am local time on Monday for about 10 mins before being arrested by plainclothes officers. Two other people filming her were also arrested, she said. It was not clear if they remained detained on Monday evening.

    Reacting to the new protest, Sotoudeh wrote: “Her message is clear, girls and women are fed up with forced [hijab]. Let women decide themselves about their own body.”

    Pictures posted on social media showed the second woman, named as Narges Hosseini, wearing a green wristband, in apparent reference to the 2009 Green movement whose leaders are still under house arrest.

    Vahid Online, a popular channel on Telegram, the most popular social network in Iran, posted a series of images showing other women taking their headscarves off and holding them up on a stick.

    One image showed a bouquet of flowers laid on top of the first telecoms box that featured in Movahed’s protest, which was also used by Hosseini before her arrest.

    Iranian law has compelled women to wear a hijab since the 1979 revolution, but it has been a difficult policy to enforce. Despite the fear of reprisals, millions of women in Iran defy the restrictions on a daily basis.

    A growing number of women, especially in Tehran, refuse to wear a hijab while driving, arguing that a car is a private space where they can dress more freely..

    The issue has become more prominent in recent years, partly thanks to a campaign run by activist Masih Alinejad, called My Stealthy Freedom. Her Facebook page invites women in Iran to post pictures of themselves without their headscarves in defiance of the rules. She is also behind White Wednesdays, a campaign encouraging women to wear white headscarves and take them off in protest at the rules.

    “Forced hijab is the most visible symbol of oppression against women in Iran, that’s why fighting for freedom to wear or not to wear hijab is the first step towards full equality,” Alinejad told the Guardian on Monday. “These women are not protesting against a piece of cloth, it’s about our identity, our dignity, and our freedom of choice. Our body, our choice.”

    Zahra Safyari, an Iranian woman who voluntarily wears a hijab, tweeted: “I wear the chador. I chose to wear the hijab, it wasn’t forced on me by my family or the society, nor it was a work requirement. I am happy with my choice but I am opposed to forced hijab and that’s why I appreciate the Girls of Enghelab Street. Religion and hijab should not be compulsory.”
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5414

    Feb 03, 2018 10:03 PM GMT
    Iranian police arrest 29 for involvement in hijab protests

    Police in the Iranian capital, Tehran, have arrested 29 people for their involvement in protests against the country's compulsory headscarf law.

    Women across Iran have been removing their headscarves in public to protest Iran's strict Islamic dress code. Videos and photos shared on social media have shown demonstrators standing on utility boxes on street sidewalks, defiantly waving their hijabs.

    Tehran police suggested that their actions were incited by foreigners, saying those arrested were "deceived" into removing their hijabs, Iran's semiofficial Tasnim News Agency reported. The 29 protesters have been transferred to judicial authorities, the report said.

    Masih Alinejad, the Iranian activist behind the "White Wednesday" social media campaign against mandatory hijabs, who is now based in the US, told CNN that the movement has not been influenced from abroad.

    "The movement started inside Iran. It has nothing to do with forces outside of Iran," Alinejad said.

    "This is a campaign that's been going on for years and years. The women of Iran have long been ignored. We're just giving them a platform."

    News of the arrests came just days after the release of Vida Mohaved, a woman who was detained in December after removing her headscarf at an anti-regime protest.

    The wave of anti-goverment demonstrations last month was sparked by concerns over rising living costs and a stagnant economy, but also provided an opening for Iranian women to push for equal rights. Women have been required to wear the hijab since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

    Mohaved attracted attention during the demonstrations when a video of her protesting went viral. The footage shows Mohaved waving her white hijab defiantly from the end of a pole, her black hair flowing uncovered.

    In recent months, enforcement of the law banning the hijab has been relaxed. In the past, women who allowed their hijab to slip could be admonished by the religious police, but these forces have been less prominent under the regime of President Hassan Rouhani.

    Authorities also announced that women driving with improper head coverings would no longer be arrested, and instead receive a relatively small fine.

    The easing of the enforcement has emboldened younger women to become more defiant, but recent incidents in which they have removed their hijabs in protest could still lead to prison sentences.

    Soheila Jaloodarzadeh, a female member of the Iranian Parliament, said on Wednesday during an event on women's rights that the protests were the conclusion of years of restrictions, the semiofficial Ilna news agency reported.

    "When we restrict women, and put them under unnecessary pressure, exactly this is the reason for rebellions," Jaloodarzadeh said, according to Ilna. "This is the reason... the daughters of Revolution Street are putting their headscarves on a stick.