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‘Deviant movements’

Tehran police arrest 29 women in response to wave of protests against mandatory hijab

By WITW Staff on February 2, 2018

Tehran police have arrested 29 women who they claim were “deceived” by foreigners into joining a protest against the mandatory hijab by climbing onto telecom boxes and waving their headscarves on sticks.

A new wave of protests against the mandatory hijab has swept across Iran following the December arrest of Vida Movahed, a 31-year-old mother, after a video of her waving her white headscarf went viral. Movahed, who was arrested just a day after Tehran morality police claimed they would cut down on arrests of women whose hijabs “accidentally” came off, was only recently released from jail following a huge social media campaign that demanded the government explain why she hadn’t been seen in nearly a month since her arrest.

Tasnim news, which is affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, wrote that 29 people were arrested after being “deceived to remove their hijab” by the White Wednesdays campaign, which was started by Women in the World contributor Masih Alinejad in 2017. The Revolutionary Guard is charged with protecting Iran’s Islamic system from foreign interference and “deviant movements.” On Wednesday, Iran’s prosecutor general, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, also claimed that the protests were instigated “from outside the country” and called the protestors “childish.”

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Soheila Jolodarzadeh, one of the few women serving in Iran’s parliament, did not appear to agree with the Revolutionary Guard’s claim that the protestors had “been deceived.”

“They’re happening because of our wrong approach,” she said of the protests, the semi-official Ilna news agency reported. “We imposed restrictions on women and put them under unnecessary restrains. This is why … girls of Enghelab Street are putting their headscarves on a stick.”

Speaking to The Guardian, Alinejad noted that in 2014 the Iranian police themselves claimed to have arrested “nearly 3.6 million women because of having bad hijab.”

“These arrests are not new,” she said. “If people are protesting, it’s exactly because of such a crackdown.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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