TRIBUNAL DESK: Tehran police have arrested 29 women for appearing in public without a headscarf as protests against the dress code in force since the Islamic revolution of 1979 intensify, Iranian media reported yesterday.
Those arrested were accused of public order offences and referred to the state prosecutor’s office, the Fars, ILNA and Tasnim news agencies reported without elaborating.
Chief prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri had played down the escalating protests on Wednesday, saying they were “trivial” and “childish” moves possibly incited by foreigners.
He had been asked about a woman detained earlier this week for standing on a pillar box in a busy street waving her headscarf on the end of a stick.
Unprecedented images of at least 11 women protesting the same way had been widely shared on social media.
Even religiously conservative Iranians have voiced support for the protests, with many saying that religious rules should be a personal choice.
At least two photos shared on Twitter on Wednesday showed women in traditional black chador robes, standing on pillar box with signs supporting freedom of choice for women. One held a sign reading: “I love my hijab but I’m against compulsory hijab.”
Women have increasingly flouted the Islamic republic’s clothing rules in recent years and often let their headscarves fall around their necks.
The protests appear to mirror that of a woman who stood in Tehran’s busy Enghelab (Revolution) Street in December without a headscarf and waving a white scarf on a stick. She was reportedly kept in detention for nearly a month and has since kept a low profile. Daily Star