An Iranian court has sentenced a woman, who protested against Iran's compulsory hijab law by removing the Islamic veil in public last year, to one year in prison, AFP cited her lawyer on Sunday April 14th.
In October last year, Vida Movahedi was arrested after removing her hijab from her head in Tehran's Enghelab Square, Payam Derafshan told AFP, confirming his earlier comments to state news agency IRNA.
Movahedi, in her mid-20s, was charged with "encouraging corruption and debauchery" and sentenced by a court in Tehran to one year in prison on March 2nd, Derafshan added.
The lawyer said that Movahedi had stated her opposition to the "compulsory hijab" and that she wanted to express her opinion in "a civil protest".
Movahedi has staged protests against the law in the past.In December 2017, she stood on a pillar box on Enghelab Avenue without the mandatory long coat and raised her white veil on a stick, an act that was copied by women in different cities.
Enghelab means revolution in Farsi and the square and avenue are among the busiest areas in the capital.
Movahedi's move sparked similar protests by other women, including some at the same spot, and they soon won recognition as "Dokhtaran-e enghelab", or the ‘Girls of Revolution Street’.Like other women who copied her, she was arrested, but she was only fined for her first protest.
Derafshan said that in her latest case, she has already spent more than five months in prison, even though she is eligible for a pardon, and the judge has promised he would look favourably on a request for parole.
"The judge was very sympathetic to the fact that Ms. Movahedi has a two-year-old daughter and that she had not had a political motive for her actions," the lawyer said.
According to Derafshan the judge "had urged Movahedi to make a parole request and that he would grant it as soon as he received it". However, bureaucratic hurdles have prevented Movahedi from sending in her request.
"Movahedi has repeatedly made the parole requests in writing, but none of them have been sent," by Gharchak Prison where she is incarcerated.
Movahedi is also now eligible to be part of a mass pardonbut, because the prison authorities have not yet updated her legal status, she cannot receive it, Derafshan said.