Iranian Hijab Protester Charged With “Acting Against National Security”

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An Iranian woman who was arrested in Tehran for peacefully protesting against Iran’s compulsory hijab law has been formally charged, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned.

Maryam Shariatmadari, who is currently being held in Gharchak Prison in Varamin, south of Tehran, is facing the charges of “fostering bad hijab” and “acting against national security.

A 32-year-old computer science student, Shariatmadari was arrested on February 23, 2018, not long after a policeman pushed her off the utility platform she was standing on while waving her head scarf on Enghelab (Revolution) St.

She was badly injured in the fall and had a surgery afterward according to a local journalist.

“It makes no sense for someone to show such behavior,” said Tehran Police Chief Gen. Hossein Rahimi on February 27 while commenting on the anti-compulsory-hijab protest movement in Iran known as the Girls of Revolution Street.

“Anyone who tries to break taboos will be firmly dealt with by the police,” he added. “In an Islamic society and in the Islamic Republic, citizens must observe Islamic principles.”

According to Iranian journalist Shahrzad Hemmati, Shahriatmadari and fellow hijab protester Shaparak Shajarizadeh, as well as 10 other Gonabadi Dervish women who were recently detained for participating in a separate protest, were summoned for interrogations on February 26.

The detainees are all being held in Gharchak Prison in Varamin, south of the capital.

“Shaparak Shajarizadeh of the Girls of Revolution Street went on a wet hunger strike on Saturday (February 24),” tweeted civil rights’ journalist Jila Baniyaghoob on February 27. “She is demanding to be moved to the public ward and to have access to a lawyer and books.”

Removing your headscarf and waving it like a flag on busy streets in Tehran has become a symbol for the “Girls of Revolution Street” movement, which was sparked by Vida Movahed in late December 2017 in Tehran.

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