Iran's hijab protest catches on

Iran Protest Headscarf
My Stealthy Freedom آزادی یواشکی زنان در ایران/Facebook

03 February, 2018

Women who appear in public without the obligatory hijab can face fines and prison sentences ranging from 10 days to two months. It now seems this protest has moved from the auto to the street.

At least two photos shared on Twitter on Wednesday showed women in traditional black chador robes, standing on pillar box with signs supporting freedom of choice for women.

Since removing the hijab in Iran in public can lead to arrest or detention of women, powerful images have appeared on social media of a number of women, their heads uncovered, holding their hijabs on the end of sticks and standing on utility boxes on street sidewalks.

The young woman's resistance act coincided with the wave of protests that spread across the country in late December 2017.

LONDON, The Iranian authorities have released most of the people arrested during December's anti-government protests but around 300 remain in jail facing charges, Iran's interior minister said on Tuesday. But police officials announced last month that they will for failing to observe the Islamic dress code, which has been in place since the 1979 revolution.

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"I don't think women can tolerate the pressure [over the hijab] for a long time", Sotoudeh, who has been jailed in Iran for her defense of human rights, told RFE/RL by telephone from Tehran.

"That directive was an important step forward, but more or less reflected the reality on the ground in the capital where hijab has been increasingly loosely adhered to in some quarters", Gissou Nia, a human rights lawyer based in Las Angeles and focused on Iran, told Newsweek. Her message is clear, girls and women are fed up with forced [hijab].

The law mandating the hijab has been, and a head scarf is obligatory for every woman in the country, even tourists and visiting foreign dignitaries. "Since then, we've seen other acts of protests against the imposition of the dress code", Ebadi told RFE/RL in a reference to broad expressions of concern almost four decades ago.

Women who violate the country's dress code will be sent to classes on Islamic values instead of being arrested. "The [Iranian] establishment should acknowledge this minimum for women", Ebadi said.

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