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Two Women Arrested In Western Iran For Removing Hijab

Image grab from a video showing two women in Kangavar, Kermanshah province walking in the street without headscarf. Undated

Reports on social media say that two women in Kangavar, western Iran have been arrested for removing their headscarves in public.

Hijab or head scarf with all-body cover is obligatory for women in Iran. But since December 2017 there have been dozens of incidents when women removed their headscarves in protest against obligatory hijab.

A trend on social media called “White Wednesdays” has been encouraging women in recent years to defy the hijab laws.

The reports indicate that the incident happened a few days ago and later when the arrests took place it led to widespread public reactions, but it is not clear if these were street protests or outcry on social media.

The two women removed their headscarves in one of the city’s main streets and then walked some distance before being detained. The husband of one of the women who recorded a video of the protest act says his wife has a right to be without hijab and he will defend her.

The head of the religious seminary in the city and Basij (Baseej) militia groups have protested against the women, saying the women “have promoted anti-hijab lifestyle and White Wednesdays”. They demanded action by law enforcement.