Iran sentences woman who removed hijab during protests to 24 months

An Iranian prosecutor claimed the woman had removed her headscarf in Tehran's Enghelab Street to "encourage corruption through the removal of the hijab in public."

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The woman who removed her headscarf during countrywide protests in Iran late last year has been handed a 24-month prison sentence, a Tehran prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi as saying the women—identified as 31-year-old Vida Movahed—had removed her headscarf in Tehran’s Enghelab Street to “encourage corruption through the removal of the hijab in public.”

Movahed became a nation-wide symbol of resistance after authorities arrested her on Dec. 27, the first day of anti-government protests in Iran, for participating in the demonstrations.

Social media users around the world began using the hashtag “#WhereIsShe” to protest the 31-year-old’s arrest as concerns about her whereabouts increased.

In January, Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who took on the case for the woman, said Movahed had been released.

“The girl of the Enghelab Avenue has been released,” the lawyer wrote on Facebook after visiting the prosecutor’s office to follow-up with the case.

“I hope they don’t fabricate a legal case to harm her for using her basic rights,” Sotoudeh added. “She has not done anything wrong to deserve prosecution. Hands off her please.”

In February, police detained at least 29 women who had removed their headscarves as part of an anti-hijab movement known as “White Wednesdays.”

Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, women in Iran have been forced to cover their hair and dress modestly in public places.

Those who violate Iran’s Islamic legal code usually face up to two months in prison and are fined $25.