Police in Iran have arrested at least 29 women for removing their headscarves in public to protest the country’s mandatory-hijab laws. According to Al Jazeera, police told the Tasnim news agency that the women were arrested for “disturbing public security.”
The arrests come amid a wave of anti-government protests that has swept across Iran following the arrest of Vida Movahed, a 31-year-old woman who was detained after she climbed on top of a telephone utility box, removed her headscarf, and began waving it on a stick. In the weeks since, more and more women have begun doing the same to demonstrate their solidarity with Movahed, and to protest the country’s strict hijab and clothing laws that were put in place following the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
Holly Dagres, an Iranian-American analyst, told Al Jazeera that the police are clearly aware that the mandatory-hijab laws are unpopular.
“It’s evident by the fact that the morality police are on constant patrol of the streets of major cities like Tehran,” Dagres said. “Authorities know that if they don’t crack down, Iranian women will continue to test the boundaries of what they can and cannot wear.”