Iran indicts woman for throwing headscarf to ground in protest during event

Iranian prosecutors accuse woman of ‘disrespecting’ head covering at public meeting in Tehran, amid ongoing unrest

A screenshot from a video shared on social media on February 17, 2023, shows an Iranian woman who threw her headscarf to the ground in a sign of protest, during an engineering in Tehran, Iran. (Twitter video screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
A screenshot from a video shared on social media on February 17, 2023, shows an Iranian woman who threw her headscarf to the ground in a sign of protest, during an engineering in Tehran, Iran. (Twitter video screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s judiciary is prosecuting a woman for “disrespecting” the Islamic headscarf after she threw hers to the ground during a public meeting, an Iranian news agency reported Saturday.

The requirement for women to wear the headscarf in public, enshrined in law since shortly after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, has triggered nationwide protests since the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September following her arrest for an alleged breach of the dress code.

“Legal proceedings have been launched against a woman who disrespected her headscarf during the election for the Tehran branch of the Iran Construction Engineering Organization,” the Tasnim news agency said.

A short video published by Tehran municipality newspaper Hamshahri showed a woman throwing her headscarf to the ground as participants left the meeting.

“It was falsely claimed that this individual was disqualified [from the branch election] for not wearing the headscarf,” Tasnim added, without elaborating.

Since the Amini protests erupted last year, more and more women have been venturing out without covering their hair, particularly in Iran’s big cities.

On January 10, the judiciary said it wanted to resume enforcing legislation stipulating severe penalties for violations of the dress code, including exile.

In recent weeks, several cafes, restaurants and pharmacies have been shut down for serving customers not wearing the headscarf.

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