Iranian authorities detained more than 300 people accused of militating against wearing the veil, which is compulsory in the country, the Fars news agency reported, citing an official.
”We have identified more than 300 people who fight against the use of the veil in different ways”said Ali Khanmohammadi, spokesman for the Organization for the Promotion of Virtue and the Rejection of Vice, dependent on the State, quoted by the Fars agency on Sunday.
”All those people were arrested”he added, without specifying either the date or the place of the arrests.
Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iranian law has obliged all women, Iranian and foreign, regardless of their religion, to go out on the streets with a veil on their heads and loose clothing.
However, more and more Iranians, especially in Tehran and other big cities, are letting their hair show through.
In recent months, under the presidency of Ebrahim Raisi, an ultraconservative, police interventions have been increasing to enforce the law.
“NATIONAL HIJAB AND CHASTITY DAY”
In mid-July, in a display of civil disobedience, the #No2Hijab hashtag has been widely spread on social media for days by Iranians outside and inside the country.
Videos of women taking off their hijabs while walking the streets or resisting the morality police have flooded social media.
“I should have the right to decide what I want to wear and not be jailed for my choice. #No2Hijab”, one user tweeted.
For their part, some women who voluntarily wear a veil and men have also joined the campaign. “I have no veil to take off. But I will take to the streets to support and defend the women and girls of my land. #No2Hijab,” @mashmolak tweeted.
At the beginning of July, the authorities prohibited women who are not veiled from using the metro in the holy city of Mashhad, in the northeast of the country, which generated a strong controversy.
A little earlier, in Shiraz (south), the police arrested several young girls who had removed their headscarves during a skateboarding event, as well as the organizers of the event.
Waves of hijab protests have hit the establishment clergy in recent years. In 2014, rights activist Masih Alinejad started a Facebook campaign “My Hidden Freedom,” in which she shared photos of unveiled Iranian women sent to her.
It was followed by a campaign in 2017 for women to wear white headscarves on Wednesdays and hijab protests in 2018, when women took to the streets with their veils raised. Dozens of women have been jailed in Iran for their activism against forced veiling, according to rights groups.
“The establishment fears a women’s revolution that has already started todayAlinejad said.
(with information from AFP)
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