Authorities Arrest Second Anti-Headscarf Demonstrator In Iran

Posted January 31, 2018

The woman who took her hijab off in public and waved it like a white flag in central Tehran, was protesting the Islamic dress code enforced on women in Iran. She was detained for a few weeks and then released.

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

Nasrin Sotoudeh, a Tehran-based lawyer and human rights activist, was at the forefront of efforts to publicise Ms Movahed's plight.

While not directly linked with the wave of political protest which hit Iran at the time, "her action embodied the aspirations of a movement of young Iranians frustrated with the lack of social and political freedoms", says The Guardian.

Since Ms Movahed's release, there has been an explosion of young women on social media following in her footsteps and the images are now spreading like insane.

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

Ms Esfandiari said the protests tie in with wider, anti-regime demonstrations that took place across 80 Iranian cities in December, when more than 1,000 people were arrested and 25 killed. A growing number of women, predominantly in Tehran, have begun refusing to wear a hijab while driving, arguing that a auto is a private space where they can dress more freely.

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Rights lawyer Sotoudeh said the protests were an indication that many women are fed up with the obligatory hijab and predicted they would continue.

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.

White is one of the most common colours of headscarves in Iran, which only allows "modest" shades such as white, brown or black.

"But as a woman who grew up in Iran I can tell you it's a big issue". The videos and photos showed individual women in separate locations in Tehran and Isfahan.

Iran's clerically dominated authorities insist that women, even foreign visitors, must cover their head and hair in public with a scarf, known as the hijab.

Women are only allowed to show their face, hands and feet in public and are supposed to wear only modest colours.