Iranian police have warned that women have who been detained for peacefully protesting Iran’s compulsory, or mandatory, hijab could face up to ten years in prison.
At least 35 women are at risk, according to Amnesty International.
“This is a deeply retrograde move by the Iranian authorities in their ongoing persecution of women who dare to speak out against compulsory veiling,” Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International reportedly said.
The international human rights organization reported that Iranian police issued an official statement on February 23 warning that these peaceful female protesters would be charged with “inciting corruption and prostitution.” Narges Hosseini was reportedly put on trial on Monday before Iran’s Ershad (Court of Moral Guidance) on charges that included the aforementioned one. Shaparak Shajarizadeh, who is being held in solitary confinement in Shahr-e Rey prison, also faces charges of “inciting corruption and prostitution.”
Amnesty International noted that other women arrested for peacefully protesting Iran’s compulsory veiling law include Maryam Shariatmadari and Hamraz Sadeghi. Vida Movahed and Azam Jangravi were reportedly released on bail.
The arrests took place days after the Iranian regime announced it was relaxing its punishment for women who do not adhere to the strict Islamic dress code. Police reportedly said that women who do not adhere to the rules will no longer face arrest but will be sent to “Islamic values” classes.
On December 27, just one day before the recent uprisings in Iran swept the nation, Movahedi, 31, stood above a busy intersection in central Tehran and waved her hijab on a stick. She later became known as “The Girl of Enghelab (Revolution) Street” and has become a symbol of the recent uprising. She was arrested by authorities, along with her 20-month-old daughter and was released at the end of last month.
Her disappearance was brought to light after a campaign to locate her was created using the “#WhereIsShe” hashtag.