Woman arrested for eating at restaurant without hijab in Iran

According to her family, a woman was arrested by the Iranian security forces for eating at a restaurant in public without a hijab.

Donya Rad was arrested after an image of her and another lady eating in a restaurant in Tehran without wearing headscarves went viral online, according to CNN.

The image, which surfaced on Wednesday, depicts the two ladies having breakfast at a cafe that, like the majority of cafés in Iran, is generally frequented by men.

According to Rad’s sister, security agencies contacted Donya and summoned her to explain her actions.

“After visiting the designated place she was arrested, after a few hours of no news, Donya told me in a short call that she was transferred to Ward 209 of Evin Prison,” her sister told CNN.

The dictatorship imprisons political dissidents in Tehran’s notoriously harsh Evin Prison, which is only intended for inmates under the control of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry.

According to reports, security officials have recently imprisoned a number of prominent Iranians, including the author and poet Mona Borzouei, the Iranian football star Hossein Mahini, and Faezeh Rafsanjani, the daughter of former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

According to the non-governmental organisation Iran Human Rights, Iranian artist Shervin Hajipour was also arrested this week after releasing a poignant song based on tweets shared by Iranians expressing their feelings about why people are demonstrating.

The song “For…” by Hajipour became extremely popular online, garnering millions of views and being extensively distributed among Iranians both inside and outside of their nation.

The killing of a Kurdish woman named Mahsa Amini sparked the country’s first anti-government protests.

Mahsa, 22, passed away in police custody after being arrested for reportedly wearing a “improper hijab,” in violation of Iran’s stringent laws regarding women’s attire.

The government crackdown has continued after almost two weeks of protests, with dozens dying in clashes between security forces. Iran Human Rights estimates that at least 83 people including children, are confirmed to have been killed in protests following the death of Mahsa Amini, reported CNN.

More than a thousand people connected to the protests have been detained as of last weekend. At least 28 journalists arrested were arrested as of Thursday, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

In a statement released on Thursday, Amnesty International stated that they are “investigating the authorities’ mass arrests of protesters and bystanders, as well as journalists, political activists, lawyers, and human rights defenders, including women’s rights activists and those belonging to oppressed ethnic minority groups.”

Videos circulating on social media show protesters in the cities of Qom, Rasht, and Mashhad calling for the overthrow of the clerical establishment despite the rising death toll and a stern crackdown by the police, according to CNN report.

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