Iranian Policeman Shoves Woman to Ground as She Protests against Mandatory Wearing of Headscarves

A video showing an Iranian policeman shoving a woman protesting against mandatory headscarves off her makeshift podium in a busy Tehran street was widely criticized by social media users, AFP News Agency reported.

According to the news agency, the video was probably shot on Enghelab Street. That is the same street where a woman was detained in December after standing with her head uncovered, waving a scarf on a stick. Many Iranian women have since then published photos of themselves in the street or parks, their heads uncovered, waving their scarves in an act of defiance.

The latest footage shows that the woman was standing on a street cabinet with her arms raised in the air, her long blond hair worn in a high pony tail. Two policemen asked her to get down, but she replied them: “Tell me what my offence is and I’ll get down.” Then one policeman told her that she was disturbing public order. Afterwards, a crowd forms and starts clapping.

The second part of the video shows how one policeman steps up to the same height as the woman and pushes her off the podium.

“Where are the human rights?” a male voice then asks.

According to lawyer and human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh, the policeman broke the law because, as he says, “no man has the right to treat a woman like this.”

Twitter users were also angry. Some of them tweeted that “breaking the law while in law enforcement uniform is the problem in Iran,” while others wrote that “the same police force that makes the girl fall over in Enghelab Street is the one responsible for ensuring the security and viability of the elections.”

The latest video comes a day after footage showed another protester, Shaparak Shajarizadeh standing on a traffic island in the Iranian capital Tehran and waving her headscarf around on the end of a stick, Daily Mail informed. Since December around 30 women have been arrested in Tehran for defying a requirement under Iran’s Islamic legal code to wear a headscarf.

The veil has been a mandatory dress requirement for women in Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. The Islamic code also forbids women touching, dancing or singing with men outside their families. Women are only allowed to show their face, hands and feet in public and are supposed to wear only modest colors.