Police officials in Tehran have arrested and sent 29 people to judicial authorities for protesting Iran’s 1979 mandatory headscarf law.
The 29 arrested protesters were transferred to judicial authorities, according to CNN. Hundreds of women inspired by a viral video of Vida Mohaved waving her headscarf in protest in Tehran square in late December are being arrested for following suit.
Mohaved, who was held and later released, is now known as the “Girl of Enghelab Street” – referring to the street where she removed her headscarf in front of onlookers.
Many videos of women removing and waving headscarves have been making the rounds on social media, over the past month. The women have taken action in protest of the country’s strict adherence to the Islamic code, which requires women to cover their heads, arms and legs in public.
Women in Iran risk a fine and up to two months in jail for violating the law.
Tehran police suggested that the protesting Iranian women were influenced by foreigners, but activist Masih Alinejad assured the press that “the movement started inside Iran. It has nothing to do with forces outside of Iran.”
Alinejad, who began the “White Wednesday” social media movement that shows women all over the country waving headscarves, explained that it “is a campaign that’s been going on for years and years. The women of Iran have long been ignored. We’re just giving them a platform.”
Last month, anti-government protests, sparked by public concern for rising cost of living and a slow economy, inspired women to take up the anti-hijab fight.
The enforcement of the law requiring hijabs has relaxed slightly under President Hassan Rouhani’s administration. Women have taken this opportunity to remove their hijabs in protests, though the risk of arrest and imprisonment remains.
Soheila Jaloodarzadeh, a female member of the Iranian Parliament, said: “When we restrict women and put them under unnecessary pressure, exactly this is the reason for rebellions.”
“This is the reason… the daughters of Revolution Street are putting their headscarves on a stick,” she added.