29 women arrested in Iran over hijab protest

ANI | Updated: Feb 02, 2018 22:54 IST

Tehran [Iran], Feb 2 (ANI): Iran police on Friday arrested at least 29 women for participating in the ongoing protest against a law that makes wearing the hijab (headscarf) compulsory.

The protests that began in Tehran earlier this week has slowly spread to other parts of the country, according to The Guardian.

Many women across the country have been protesting for a hijab ban by climbing onto telecom boxes, by taking off their hijabs, attaching them to a wooden stick and waving them like flags.

Women in Iran have fought against the hijab for nearly four decades.

However, the new wave of protests has grabbed eyeballs worldwide and will worry the Iran Government more, who are already reeling under the recent anti-corruption protests.

The Tehran police said the campaign had been instigated from outside the country through illegal satellite channels under a campaign named "White Wednesdays."

"Following calls by satellite channels under a campaign called White Wednesdays, 29 of those who had been deceived to remove their hijab have been arrested by the police," the police said quoting Iranian media.

Iran's prosecutor general, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, described the ongoing protests on hijab ban as "childish", "emotionally charged" and instigated "from outside the country".

Meanwhile, many Iranian women within the country as well as outside Iran have backed the protests.

Soheila Jolodarzadeh, a female member of the Iranian parliament, said the protests were the result of long-standing restrictions against women.

"They're happening because of our wrong approach. We imposed restrictions on women and put them under unnecessary restrains."

Masih Alinejad, an exiled Iranian activist and now resides in the United States, started a social media campaign against the compulsory hijab law.

The hijab has been in place in Iran after the Iranian revolution in 1979.

The law mandates that a woman who does not wear a hijab in public could face a heavy penalty and jail sentences.

Iran recently witnessed a huge wave of anti-corruption protests as people took to raising anti-government slogans, over alleged corruption, oppressive rule of the government and rising prices that plagued the people of the country.

The official death toll in the anti-government protests is, as of now, 20. (ANI)