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Iran reportedly threatening women who removed headscarves in protest with 10 years in prison

These women took part in a campaign to protest the country's strict laws

AFP/Getty Images

Iran is reportedly planning to punish women, who remove their headscarves in protest of the regime's draconian laws, with up to 10 years in prison.

Here's what we know

The Independent reported that the threats had been made by Iran's Fars news agency. Since Iran has no freedom of the press, the Fars news agency is often viewed as essentially a PR firm for the Iranian government.

According to Fars, Mousa Ghazanfarabadi, the head of Tehran's Revolutionary Court, said "those who film themselves or others while removing the hijab and send photos to this woman...will be sentenced to between one and 10 years in prison."

Women in Iran have been taking pictures of themselves without their headscarves in protest of the regime's strict laws. They sent these photos to Iranian-American activist Masih Alinejad, who started the "White Wednesday" movement to protest Iran's mandatory headscarf laws.

This campaign has already led to the arrests of dozens of women. According to the BBC, thousands have joined these protests. Alinejad is in a self-imposed exile in the United States, since she believes she would be arrested if she traveled to Iran.

What else?

These religious-based laws have been strictly enforced since the Iranian revolution in the late 1970s. Even before this announcement, Iranian women caught in public without a headscarf could face up to two months in prison and a fine the equivalent of roughly $25 U.S. dollars.

But the punishments can sometimes be much greater than that. According to the Independent, in 2018 a woman named Shaparak Shajarizadeh was sentenced to two years in prison and an additional 18 years of probation for taking off her headscarf as part of a protest.

One last thing…
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