Iran arrests 29 women who removed head scarves, claims they were ‘tricked’ by social media

by WorldTribune Staff, February 2, 2018

Iranian police have arrested 29 women who removed their hijabs in the latest wave of protests against the country’s strict modesty laws.

Twitter photo posted on Jan. 29 shows a woman in Iran holding her hijab on a stick in protest.

The protests are part of what organizers are calling the “White Wednesdays” movement where women take to the streets without wearing the required Islamic veils.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) announced via the Tasnim news agency on Feb. 1 that the women had been “deceived” by social media posts by Iranians living abroad and by foreign satellite TV channels.

“Following calls by satellite channels under a campaign called White Wednesdays, 29 of those who had been deceived to remove their hijab have been arrested by the police,” Iranian security forces told Tasnim.

A woman who publicly protested the compulsory hijab policy during last month’s nationwide uprising was freed from custody on Jan. 28.

“The girl of Enghelab Street has been released,” human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh wrote in a post on her Facebook page on Jan. 28.

Women who defy the dress code could face jail sentences of several weeks.

Related: Iran reportedly releases woman who took stand against compulsory veiling during protests, January 29, 2017

Iran’s dress code dictates that women’s hair and body must be covered in public and the country’s morality police launch regular crackdowns on those who are not fully respecting rules relating to the hijab.

The arrests reported on Feb. 1 came after at least six women had been detained in Teheran this week in similar protests.

Amnesty International called on Iranian authorities to “end the persecution of women who speak out against compulsory veiling, and abolish this discriminatory and humiliating practice.”

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