Thursday,21 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1379, (1 -7 February 2018)
Thursday,21 February, 2019
Issue 1379, (1 -7 February 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Veil protest in Iran

Veil protest in Iran
Veil protest in Iran
Al-Ahram Weekly

An Iranian woman has been arrested and had bail set at more than $100,000 after she protested against the wearing of the mandatory Islamic headscarf in Iran, it was reported on Tuesday.

Narges Husseini, age unknown, was jailed after posing in central Tehran on Monday without a headscarf, Iranian human-rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh said. At least three other women did the same thing around the city, according to images shared on social media, mirroring a protest by another woman on 27 December whose images went viral across the globe.

Sotoudeh said Husseini had been sent to Gharchak Prison outside Tehran and bail set at five billion rials ($110,000). “Given that the judge knows the financial situation of this family, issuing such a heavy bail shows they intend to keep this person in detention,” Sotoudeh said. The precise charges are not yet known, she added.

Late last year, an image of an Iranian woman standing on a box while holding aloft a pole with her white veil, or hijab, hanging from one end first surfaced. The photograph then went viral on social media as mass anti-government demonstrations erupted in Iran in December and swelled into a major rebuke to the ruling establishment.

The woman, named as Vida Movahed, but more often referred to as the “Enghelab Street girl,” was released after nearly a month in detention, Sotoudeh said.

Social media postings on Monday showed at least five women in Iran protesting against the obligatory headscarf by taking theirs off and waving it on a stick. The images showed individual women in separate locations in Tehran and Isfahan. Sotoudeh, who won the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Human Rights in 2012, has been arrested and barred from working on several occasions in recent years.

The Islamic dress code, in place since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, considers Islamic veiling obligatory for any female over 13 years old in Iran and says women should cover themselves from head to toe while avoiding any figure-hugging dress.

In December, Iran’s police said they would no longer arrest women for failing to observe the code. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reportedly both support softer attitudes towards women wearing improper hijabs, though hard-liners opposed to easing such rules still dominate Iran’s security forces and judiciary.

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