Police arrest 29 women for not wearing headscarves in Iran

Iranian women protest their country’s hijab law by waving their headscarves in public

Some of the women in question were deliberately defying the hijab law to protest its injustice, as in the case of one detainee who reportedly waved her headscarf around on the end of a stick in a street protest.

Iran has arrested 29 women in the last few days 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.

However, Holly Dagres, an Iranian-American analyst, said Iranian authorities are "very much aware" that more than half of the population is against wearing the hijab.

Tehran police said on Thursday that the campaign had been instigated from outside Iran through illegal satellite channels.

Although women in Iran have fought against the hijab for almost four decades, the new wave of protests has grabbed more attention and sparked a debate rarely seen before over personal freedoms.

Police in Iran seemed to take an indirect shot at Alinejad's campaign on Thursday, saying the 29 arrested women were "tricked" into removing their hijabs by a propaganda campaign spread by Iranians living overseas, the private news agency Tasnim reported.

"The Iranian police announced in 2014 that they've warned, arrested or sent to court almost 3.6 million women because of having bad hijab, so these arrests are not new, if people are protesting it's exactly because of such a crackdown", she told the Guardian.

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The White House condemnation Iran's handling of the nation-wide protests, which began in December a year ago, has been met with skepticism in Tehran which has accused the former of interfering in its internal matters.

Several images and videos of the demonstrations have gone viral on social media.

The dress code dictates that women's hair and body must be covered in public.

Campaigners in Iran had already called for the release of one woman, identified...

Omid Memarian, a US-based Iranian journalist who was once imprisoned in Iran, wrote on social media that the fight against forced hijab "is not about whether the hijab is good or bad".

Iran's law makes it compulsory for women to wear the hijab in public. It's about choice and equality. The Iranian government moved in swiftly and arrested close to 1,000 protesters.

"At the same time, movements always start as small acts of resistance".

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