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Iranian police arrests woman for eating out without headscarf

Iranian security forces arrested a woman after a photo of her and another woman eating at a Tehran restaurant without their headscarves was widely circulated online, her family said on Friday.

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Iranian police detained a woman who was seen in a photograph during Mahsa Amini’s death demonstrations eating out sans a headscarf.

The image showed Donya Rad having what appeared to be breakfast while chatting with a female acquaintance who was also not wearing a hijab in a traditional Tehran restaurant.

Users praised the two women for their civic disobedience in defiance of the Islamic Republic’s strict clothing code for women as they extensively shared the image on social media.

Read more: Is Indian govt. enforcing hijab ban in Kashmir?

Amini died earlier this month following her arrest by the country’s strict morality police who enforce the rules for the obligatory hijab.

“Yesterday after this photo was published, the security agencies contacted my sister Donya Rad and asked her to give some explanations,” 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 in a short call that she was transferred to ward 209 of Evin prison,” she said, referring to a notorious wing of the Tehran jail which is reputedly run by the intelligence ministry.

“Our family is very concerned about her wellbeing,” she added.

The previous few days have seen an increase in photos of civil disobedience, with Iranian women uploading pictures of themselves walking, shopping, or sitting in cafés without headscarves.

“They just went to get breakfast without headscarves. They were arrested. This is how brutal/sick the hijab policy is in Iran,” commented prominent US-based campaigner and journalist Omid Memarian on Twitter.

Social media users have drawn comparisons between Rad’s actions and those of Rosa Parks, an American civil rights fighter who opposed segregation on buses, by juxtaposing pictures of Rad in a cafe with Parks on a bus.

Read more: Banning hijab means civil war in France: President Macron warns

Activists claim that prominent poet and songwriter Mona Borzouei was also detained after posting a video of herself reading a poem that promised to “take this homeland back from your clutches.”

Activists say Iran is in the throes of one of its most ferocious crackdowns in years to suppress the protests that erupted in the wake of Amini’s death, with some two dozen journalists rounded up as well as activists and cultural figures.

Former Iranian international football player Hossein Manahi was arrested on Friday after supporting the protests on his social media accounts, the state-run IRNA news agency said.