Iran reportedly releases woman who took stand against compulsory veiling during protests

by WorldTribune Staff, January 29, 2018

“The girl of Enghelab Street,” whose stand in Teheran last month against wearing the mandatory head scarf went viral on social media, has been released after being held in detention, a human rights lawyer said.

The woman, whose name has not been made public, has been released by Iranian authorities, lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh wrote in a post on her Facebook page on Jan. 28.

The image of a young Iranian woman protesting against the compulsory hijab quickly went viral on social media.

“The woman has become a symbol of defiance against the strict dress code enforced in Iran,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) noted in a Jan. 29 report.

A Dec. 27 video showed the woman, who was not wearing the required head scarf, waving a white flag on Enghelab (Revolution) Street. Not wearing the hijab is a punishable offense for women in Iran.

Related: Rights group demands Iran’s release of woman who took stand against compulsory hijab, January 25, 2017

After the video went viral, social media users by the thousands posted demands on the woman’s whereabouts through the hashtags #Where_is_she or #Whereisthegirlfromenghelabstreet.

Amnesty International, which had called on Iranian authorities to “immediately and unconditionally” release the woman, also called on the Teheran regime to “end the persecution of women who speak out against compulsory veiling and abolish this discriminatory and humiliating practice.”

Sotoudeh wrote on her Facebook page last week that the woman is a 31-year-old mother of a toddler. The lawyer also said she was initially released after being detained on the spot but was subsequently rearrested, RFE/RL reported.

“I hope they don’t fabricate a legal case to harm her for using her basic rights,” the lawyer said. “She has not done anything wrong to deserve prosecution.”

Iranian authorities have made no public comment on the case.

Adherence to an Islamic dress code became compulsory in Iran following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The dress code dictates that a woman’s hair and body must be covered in public.

“Morality police launch regular crackdowns on those who are not fully respecting rules relating to the hijab,” the RFE/RL report said.

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