Hijab Confrontation Lands Iranian Woman In Police Custody

A woman has been arrested after a video of her arguing with another woman who was enforcing rules on wearing a head scarf on a bus in Tehran went viral.

The woman, identified as Sepideh Rashno, a 28-year-old writer and artist, was confronted by a woman who warned her she would send video to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) showing Rashno riding the bus without the mandatory hijab.

As the argument escalates, the veiled woman is forced by other passengers to get off the bus.

Arash Sadeghi, a civil activist and former political prisoner, confirmed the news on Twitter on July 18, saying Rashno was arrested two days earlier.

The Fars news agency, which is affiliated with the IRGC, also confirmed a woman protesting the mandatory hijab had been arrested.

News of the arrest comes amid recent reports that authorities in Iran are increasingly cracking down on women deemed to be in violation of wearing the hijab, which is mandatory in public in Iran.

The notorious Guidance Patrols, or morality police, have become increasingly active and violent. Videos have emerged on social media appearing to show officers detaining women, forcing them into vans, and whisking them away.

A July 5 order by President Ebrahim Raisi to enforce the hijab law has resulted in a new list of restrictions on how women can dress.

Following the order, women judged not to be in compliance have been barred from government offices, banks, and public transportation.

In response, activists have launched a social-media campaign under the hashtag #no2hijab to urge people to boycott companies enforcing the tougher restrictions.

On July 12, women's rights activists posted videos of themselves publicly removing their veils to coincide with the government’s National Day of Hijab and Chastity.

The hijab first became compulsory in public for Iranian women and girls over the age of 9 after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Many Iranian women have flouted the rule over the years in protest and pushed the boundaries of what officials say is acceptable clothing.