Amnesty International is calling on Iranian authorities to “immediately and unconditionally” release a woman who was arrested in Tehran last month for apparently protesting peacefully against the country’s mandatory Islamic dress code.
In a January 24 statement, the London-based rights group also reiterated its calls on the authorities to “end the persecution of women who speak out against compulsory veiling, and abolish this discriminatory and humiliating practice.”
A video showing the woman standing on a concrete structure in Tehran’s Enghelab (Revolution) Street without wearing a headscarf has gone viral on social media since December 27.
She was silently waving a white flag in an apparent protest against the compulsory hijab, which in Iran refers to Islamic dress that covers the hair and body.
Amnesty International quoted three eyewitnesses as saying that police arrested the woman on the spot and transferred her to a nearby detention center.
Her name, Vida Movahed, is said to be 31 years old and has a 19-month-old baby.
She boldly protested the compulsory veil in crowded downtown Tehran by taking off her shawl and waving it in the air on a stick. Simultaneously, she spoke about freedom and women’s right to choose their own clothing. A number of youths present in the scene gave her support.
The incident took place on Wednesday, December 27, 2017, in Tehran’s Enghelab Avenue. The State Security forces arrested the young woman and the young passersby who had supported her.
The arrests were made the same day as Tehran’s police chief claimed that no one would be arrested for mal-veiling. He said no criminal complaints would be filed for them, they will not be sent to court but will have to attend “educational” classes to correct their behavior. (The state-run Tasnim news agency – December 27, 2017)
#دختر_خیابان_انقلاب #ويدا_موحد #VidaMovahed, the brave woman who took off her scarf in public during #IranProtests in Tehran's Enghelab street. She was arrested & has disappeared. Demands are raised from #Iran regime about her whereabouts.pic.twitter.com/KHK9hl02FQ
— Masoud Dalvand (@Masoud_Dalvand) January 24, 2018
But the reality that exists in Iran today is that the repression of women was not unique to this young woman.
The NCRI Women’s Committee, published a video about detainees during Iran protests especially women. According to the information released by the committee, 400 women have been arrested in the southwestern city of Izeh, alone. Dozens of women have been arrested in Tehran. Seven women arrested in the city of Saqqez, in Iranian Kurdistan.
In the first two weeks of January, 50 were shot dead and at least 8000 people have been arrested for taking part in the uprising and exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association. At least 10 of these prisoners have been tortured to death in prison.
The NCRI Women’s Committee echoes the Iranian people’s demand is to take urgent action to immediately release all those imprisoned under torture for taking part in the uprising.
The fact is, the most striking images coming from Iran uprising are of women.
They are risking the most to speak out against the Iranian regime.
Women have demonstrated tremendous courage in the nationwide protests.
The NCRI Women’s Committee calls on all freedom loving people of the world to support the struggle of Iranian women in their quest for freedom.
I urge the Council of Europe and its member states to take effective measures and binding decisions to compel the religious fascism to:
-Immediate freedom of the prisoners of the uprising
-Freedom of expression and association;
–No more repression and no more compulsory veil;
Now and just today.
I urge the Council of Europe and its member states to take effective measures/ and binding decisions to compel the religious fascism to:#Iran #Iranprotests #PACE #CoE #PACEwinter2018 pic.twitter.com/mnP590vPQ6
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) January 24, 2018
Also, a petition has been prepared for the release of the detainees of Iran protests, to be sent to the Secretary-General of the UN. By signing this petition and sharing the news of the detainees, including the girl of Enghelab Street, we should try to release them.
SOS: 8000 DETAINED PROTESTERS FACE GRAVE DANGER IN IRAN! PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION. Call for the release of detainees of #uprising in #Iran. #IranProtests #IranUprising #HumanRights #UN https://t.co/SgjkuuZBxl
— Masoud Dalvand (@Masoud_Dalvand) January 22, 2018
Please sign the petition for it will not take more than 30 seconds to complete and you could end up saving the lives of thousands: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Iran-Protests