You may not have heard about it, but a small group of female activists in Iran were arrested in February of this year for removing their headscarves, their hijab, in public. Muslim law, and by extension the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran, require women in public to cover their hair at all times.
So, in December of last year, a number of women took their headscarves off in public to protest the compulsory wearing of the hijab.
29 of them were arrested for it only months later.
The campaign was known as White Wednesdays, and one of its leaders was named Shapark Shajarizadeh. She recently posted the details of her arrest on her website.
Not only was she arrested for a crime as minor as showing her hair in public, she says she has now been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the offense.
She was released on bail in April while awaiting sentencing. Her current whereabouts are unknown, but odds are good she will attempt to leave the country rather than face two decades in prison.
In Irans the typical penalty for a woman who publicly displays her hair can be anywhere from a fine of about $25 to serious prison time.
It seems the regime wants to make an example of these protesters, and in Shajarizadeh’s case at least, they’ve opted for the “serious prison time” punishment.
An Iranian lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, has also been arrested for assisting the women in their protest and serving as their legal representative.
So, once again, be proud to live in America. Because at least you know you’re free.