Their bravery is awe-inspiring. Despite the risk of getting arrested, these women openly opposed the compulsory hijab in Iran. Their names Yasaman Aryani, Monireh Arab-Shahi and Mojgan Keshavarz.
Imagine being jailed for defending the most basic freedom: Freedom to choose what to wear! Elsewhere in the world, these women would have been celebrated for their commitment to women’s rights and feminism.
But in Iran, authorities have sentenced them to years of prison and they are being treated like criminals. As the world is presently grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, let’s not forget about these brave souls who are languishing in prison. Because freedom is not free.The international community should not turn a blind eye to the situation of these women. When female politicians visit Iran and submit to the compulsory hijab (under the pretext that it is the “Iranian culture”), they are also justifying the authorities’ repression of Iranian women. After all, compulsion has never been part of Iranian culture. Rather, it is the hallmark of a repressive and authoritarian system called the Islamic Republic, which has killed tens of thousands of Iranians fighting for freedom.