Iranian woman arrested for cycling without hijab, accused of ‘insulting’ Islamic veil
Authorities in Iran have arrested a woman for ‘insulting the Islamic Hijab,’ after a video of her cycling without a veil went viral on social media, news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) has reported.
“A person who had recently violated norms and insulted the Islamic veil in this region, has been arrested,” Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) quoted Najafabad governor Mojatabai Raei as saying.
Raei further said the woman’s ‘motive’ for committing this action is being investigated. He, however, did not disclose her identity. “The residents of this city are holding a protest rally today after the unprecedented violation of norms,” the governor added.
The incident took place in the city of Najafabad. In the video, which was shot with a mobile phone, the woman is seen cycling in front of a mosque. She can also be seen repeatedly raising her right hand in the air.
IRNA further said the video of the woman, showing her ‘riding her bike without a veil in the main square’ and ‘in front of a big mosque,’ had triggered protests from residents and clerics in Najafabad.
Under Iran’s Islamic law, which has been in force there since the 1979 revolution, women must wear a hijab that covers their head and neck and conceals their hair.
However, in recent times, Iranian women have challenged this decree by allowing their veils to reveal more hair, especially in the capital Tehran and other major cities.