Iran arrests dozens of women as anti-hijab protests heat up

Iranian women protest their country’s hijab law by waving their headscarves in public

Local media reports say the protest took place in Tehran and that police detained 29 women for charges of disrupting social order.

On Thursday, Iran's Revolutionary Guard announced via the Tasnim media outlet that 29 female protesters had been arrested during the latest wave of anti-hijab protests.

It was unclear where else arrests had been made, as protests have spread from the capital to other areas, including the ancient cities of Esfahan and Shiraz.

And in an extraordinary show of dissent, other demonstrators called for the ouster of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, denouncing him as a dictator.

Twenty-nine women have been arrested in connection with recent protests in Iran against the compulsory Islamic veil for women, police in Teheran said, adding that the protesters had been "deceived" by foreign forces.

"We are fighting against the most visible symbol of oppression", said Alinejad, who also hosts the website My Stealthy Freedom.

"It's evident by the fact that the morality police are on constant patrol of the streets of major cities like Tehran", Dagres told Al Jazeera. Since then, several people have shared pictures on social media of women standing on top of utility boxes in Iran and waving their hijabs on sticks.

"The Iranian police announced in 2014 that they have warned, arrested or sent to court almost 3.6 million women because of having bad hijab", Masih Alinejad, a US-based journalist and activist, told The Guardian. According to a human rights lawyer who took up her case, she was finally from detention last weekend.

Another recent video showed an elderly woman, barely capable of walking, also protesting against the forced dress code in hopes of change.

On Wednesday, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, Iran's chief prosecutor, had denounced the protests as "childish", suggesting that individuals from outside Iran are inciting the movement.

A few months after the 1979 revolution in Iran, compulsory laws forcing women to cover their heads and wear loose clothing came into effect. "So these arrests are not new, if people are protesting it is exactly because of such a crackdown".

Covered woman wearing chador and hijab downtown Tehran.

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