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Anti-hijab protester jailed for a year in Iran

An Iranian woman who was badly injured after being pushed off a box in Tehran as she was waving her hijab during a protest has been jailed for a year.

Maryam Shariatmadari, 32, was demonstrating against laws which force women to wear a veil in the Islamic republic when a policeman violently shoved her to the ground on February 23.

Despite journalists and supporters reporting that the woman needed ‘urgent’ medical attention after suffering a ‘severe’ leg injury that required stitches, she was kept in prison before being sentenced.

According to activist group My Stealthy Freedom, Shariatmadari was sentenced to a year in jail for breaking the strict nation’s laws.

But human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who represented the woman, said the verdict ‘even goes against the laws.’

According to the Center for Human Rights in Iran, Shariatmadari was forced to undergo knee surgery for her injury.

The organisation cited Jila Baniyaghoo, a journalist in the country, who claimed Shariatmadari was at one point taken out of surgery by police when she was about to go under the knife.

Tehran Police spokesman Saeed Montazer al-Mahdi said on February 25 that police – though they have a responsibility to tackle ‘visible crimes’ – had no right to ‘violate the law’.

In the shocking video, Shariatmadari, standing above Tehran pedestrians on a utility box, is seen defiantly waving a headscarf on the end of a stick.

But the protest turns nasty when a police officer climbs onto the podium and pushes her to the pavement, earning jeers from spectators.

The veil has been a mandatory dress requirement for women in Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

It comes days after footage showed another protester, Shaparak Shajarizadeh, standing on a traffic island in the Iranian capital Tehran and waving her headscarf around on the end of a stick.

In the latest clip, the woman is seen raising the headscarf above her head by a set of traffic lights in Tehran.

Two policemen confront the protester and ask her to come down to the pavement.

She asked what offence she had committed, and was told she was ‘disturbing public order’, according to The New Arab.

One activist said: ‘No man has the right to treat a woman like this’.

Around 30 women have been arrested in Tehran for refusing to wear a headscarf, it has been reported.

A movement called White Wednesdays encourages women to flout regulations by capturing footage and pictures of themselves without their hijabs and posting it online.

The Islamic code also forbids women touching, dancing or singing with men outside their families.

Women are only allowed to show their face, hands and feet in public and are supposed to wear only modest colours.

Over the years, however, women have pushed back the boundaries of the law, with many wearing loose, brightly coloured headscarves far back on their heads.

In November, footage emerged of women standing up to police and strangers after walking the streets without hijabs.

At one point a female campaigner shouts ‘spit out your insults’ after being told to cover her head while a second film shows a man threatening to slap a young woman for breaking the law.

Another video showed a father standing up for her daughter after a passer-by ordered her to ‘observe hijab’. The father stands his ground and tells the man ‘I don’t believe that nonsense’.

Source Daily Mail

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