Iranian women protest obligatory headscarf rules

Authorities Arrest Second Anti-Headscarf Demonstrator In Iran

Ms Bahraini said Ms Movahed was only just released on Sunday after a month in custody and that Amnesty is monitoring the case because she is still at risk of criminal prosecution.

Talking of the latest wave of protests, Ms Movahed's lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh told the newspaper Ms Hosseini had been stood on the box for 10 minutes before she was arrested by a plain-clothed officer.

Ms Bahraini says she received reports law enforcement officials arrested the woman on the spot and transferred her to a nearby detention centre.

She said women in Iran want to have control over their own bodies.

The unidentified woman held up a white headscarf on a stick in a square in the capital where Vida Movahed, another anti-headscarf protester, was arrested, images shared Monday on Twitter showed.

The Star reported that at least one woman was arrested during yesterday's protests, according to a shopkeeper who witnessed the arrest.

The campaign eventually went global both on and offline, with protesters at the recent Women's March in the US waving placards with the slogan.

Other women followed suit with similar acts to protest the compulsory headscarf rule.

The wearing of headscarves by Iranian women has been obligatory since Iran's Islamic Revolution of 1979.


But in April 2016, officials said there were 7,000 undercover morality police reporting on things like "bad hijab" - a blanket term usually referring to un-Islamic dress by women. A growing number of women, predominantly in Tehran, have begun refusing to wear a hijab while driving, arguing that a vehicle is a private space where they can dress more freely.

These cases generally led to fines and a temporary impounding of the vehicle.

The phenomenon began gathering pace five weeks ago, on December 27 when a young woman was photographed standing on top of an electricity box on a busy Tehran street, her long hair tumbling over her shoulder as she looked straight ahead, waving a white headscarf.

Women showing their hair in public can be jailed for up to two months or fined $25 (aprox Rs 1500).

Many Islamists believe hijab should not be imposed by the law, though they consider it a religious task for every Muslim woman.

Some have posted hijab-less photos on a Facebook page founded by exiled journalist Masih Alinejad, whose call for women to wear white scarves and protest the hijab on Wednesdays appears to have been behind Movahedi's protest.

Another campaign fighting against the enforced hijab in Iran set up by Ms Alinejad is My Stealthy Freedom.

"But as a woman who grew up in Iran I can tell you it's a big issue".

In the photos, the women's heads are uncovered as they stand on utility boxes or other objects on the streets of Tehran with scarves held up on sticks.

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