Iranian activist gets 3-year sentence for filming without hijab

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, women have been legally required to wear “Islamic” modest clothing. 

Tehran: A 22-year-old Iranian rights activist Melika Qaragozlu has been sentenced to three years and eight months in prison and 8 million tomans in fine for not complying with the country’s mandatory hijab rules, her lawyer said on Twitter.

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Activist Melika Qaragozlu, was arrested after participating in a nationwide civil-disobedience campaign on July 12, posted a video of herself on social media without wearing the mandatory Islamic headscarf.

Qaragozlu verdict came as Iran faced widespread protests after a 22-year-old woman died while in police custody for violating hijab rules.

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Her lawyer, Mohammad Ali Kamfiruzi, wrote on Twitter on September 19, that the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran had recently sentenced his client “for posting a few seconds of a video without a headscarf on social media.”

“My client has numerous medical records and although the forensic doctor confirmed that she must be under the supervision of a specialist psychiatrist, that was not taken into account in issuing the verdict,” he added.

Qaragozlu is a student at Allameh Tabataba’i University and a multi-media journalist.

Women are legally required to wear hijab in Iran

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, women have been legally required to wear “Islamic” modest clothing. 

In practice, this means that women must wear a chador, a full-body abaya, or a headscarf and coat that covers their arms.

In recent years, Iran has witnessed several campaigns against the compulsory hijab, but the Iranian morality police launched a campaign against women accused of not complying with the dress code, prompting opponents of this trend to demand action.

In 2017, dozens of women publicly took off their headscarves in a wave of protests, the authorities adopted tougher measures.

In July video spread on social media of a woman standing in front of a morality police vehicle calling for the release of her daughter, and the veiled woman continued to hold on to the vehicle even after it set off before running away from it after increasing its speed.

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