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News Link • Iran

Anti-hijab protesters defy Iranian authorities... headscarves

• By Alastair Tancred and Thompson Reuters

Symbolic protests took place throughout the country this week with women posting videos and photographs on social media of themselves standing on utility boxes, street sidewalks and other public places as they defiantly waved their hijabs.

Chief Prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri played down the escalating protests on Wednesday, saying they were 'trivial' and 'childish' moves possibly incited by foreigners. 

The defiance of the women comes as an influential Iranian activist said that disquiet over the hijab showed that women are symbolically rejecting the wider 'interference of religion' in their lives.

'We are fighting against the most visible symbol of oppression,' said Masih Alinejad, who hosts the website My Stealthy Freedom where women in Iran post photos of themselves without hijabs.

Under Iran's Islamic law, imposed after the 1979 revolution, women are obliged to cover their hair with a scarf, known as a hijab, and wear long, loose-fitting clothes. Violators are publicly admonished, fined or arrested.

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