by WorldTribune Staff, February 28, 2018
Iranian police have begun charging women who remove the mandatory hijab in public with “inciting prostitution,” a charge which carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
In the first two months of 2018, more than 35 women have been arrested in Teheran for removing the compulsory headscarf in public.
Amnesty International reported that at least two of the arrested protesters, Narges Hosseini and Shaparak Shajarizadeh, are being charged with “inciting corruption and prostitution.”
Since her arrest last week, Shajarizadeh has reportedly been subjected to beatings in prison.
If found guilty of inciting corruption and prostitution, the women could face up to 10 years in prison.
“This is a deeply retrograde move by the Iranian authorities in their ongoing persecution of women who dare to speak out against compulsory veiling,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.
“Rather than threatening women with jail terms for claiming their human rights, the authorities should immediately abolish the discriminatory, abusive and degrading laws and practices of compulsory veiling.”
Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, all females in Iran above age 13 have been required to cover themselves from head to toe in public and to disavow any figure-hugging dress.
In April 2016, Iranian officials confirmed there were 7,000 undercover morality police reporting on violations such as “bad hijab”.
Teheran’s traffic police in 2015 said they had recorded 40,000 cases of bad hijab in cars, where women often let their headscarves drop around their necks. The cases generally led to fines and a temporary impounding of the vehicle.