Iran: a young woman arrested for not wearing the veil on the public highway

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A young woman has been arrested in Iran after appearing in images on a bicycle without a hijab, in a country where headscarves are compulsory for women in public, the state-run Irna news agency reported on Tuesday.

“A person who recently violated the norm and insulted the Islamic veil (…) was arrested”, indicates the governor of the city of Najafabad (center), Mojataba Raii, quoted by Irna.

According to Irna, the dissemination of images of a young woman “cycling without a veil in the main square” of the city and “in front of the great mosque” provoked protests among “the inhabitants and members of the clergy” of Najafabad. .

A brief video shot using a cell phone circulated on social media on Monday showing a young woman with her bare head cycling in front of a large mosque.

In the images, the young woman with long hair wears a protective sanitary mask and raises an arm from time to time as a gesture of greeting.

The law in force in Iran since the Islamic revolution of 1979, requires women, whether Iranian or foreign and whatever their religion or belief, to come out with their heads veiled and their bodies covered with more or less loose clothing. long.

However, the zeal of the authorities on this subject has clearly diminished over the past twenty years and a growing number of Iranian women, in Tehran and other large cities, are showing their hair clearly.

The governor of the city of Najafabad indicated that an investigation had been opened to find out the motive which pushed the young woman to “commit this act”, without communicating the identity of the detainee.

“The inhabitants of the city are organizing today (Tuesday) a rally to protest” against this “unprecedented violation of standards”.

With a population of over 280,000 inhabitants, Najafabad is located west of Isfahan, capital of the province of the same name.

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