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No More Women On Bicycles In Isfahan, Orders Prosecutor

Men and women cycling in Iran. File photo

The prosecutor of Isfahan in Iran has banned women's cycling in public by pronouncing it "a prohibited act" which will entail punishment based on the "Islamic Penal Code."

The Iranian official news agency IRNA quoted Prosecutor Ali Esfahani as having said that "As per the attestation of Muslim scholars, and based on the law, cycling by women in public is haram (prohibited)."

This comes while there is nothing in Iranian laws that would prohibit cycling by women, and the Islamic law (Shariah) cannot contain anything about bicycles that were invented centuries after the religious cannon was written. However, hardliner Shiite clerics in the Islamic Republic have been observed arbitrarily prohibiting types of behavior that are part of the everyday life.

The prosecutor said the police have been ordered to warn women against cycling in Isfahan, and if they insist to ride, police may confiscate the cyclists' ID, and in some cases their bicycles, adding that "repetition of a 'haram' act, will make the offender subject to Islamic punishment."

He said the Municipality of Isfahan has been advised to design a special "covered bicycle for women," but he did not elaborate how that would look like.