Iranian woman arrested for eating at restaurant without hijab in Tehran

Iranian woman arrested for eating at restaurant without hijab in Té h&héran


A woman eating lunch without a headscarf at a restaurant in Tehran, whose photo has gone viral on social media, has been arrested, her sister said on Friday, amid a crackdown in Iran against the protest movement born after the death of Mahsa Amini. 

The photo showed Donya Rad sitting in a restaurant in Tehran, apparently having breakfast, in the company of a friend, also without a headscarf.

The image was widely shared on the networks social media, with many accounts praising the two women for their civil disobedience to the strict dress code the Islamic Republic imposes on women. 

Mahsa Amini died earlier this month after being arrested by the vice squad who accused her of not wearing her hijab properly. 

“Yesterday, after this photo was published, the security agencies contacted my sister Donya Rad and asked her to give an explanation,” her sister Dina wrote on Twitter.

“Today, after going where she was told, she was arrested. After a few hours of silence, Donya told me on a brief call that she had been transferred to Ward 209 of Evin prison,” she added, referring to a wing of Evin prison. Tehran which is deemed to be ruled by the Ministry of Intelligence. 

“Our family is very worried,” she added.

In recent days, Persian-language media outside Iran have shown increasing images of civil disobedience, with women in Iran sharing images of themselves walking, shopping or in cafes without a hijab. 

“They went to breakfast without a headscarf. They were arrested. This is how brutal/twisted the hijab policy is in Iran,” commented prominent US-based activist and journalist Omid Memarian on Twitter. 

On social media, some compared Ms Rad's actions to those of Rosa Parks, the American black civil rights activist, by putting together images of Parks on a bus and Rad in a cafe. 

The activists say Iran is in the grip of one of its fiercest crackdowns in years to quell protests that have erupted over the death of Mahsa Amini.