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Iran’s authorities are using incommunicado detention, prolonged solitary confinement and threats against family members in order to extract forced video “confessions” from women’s rights defenders detained for campaigning against the country’s discriminatory forced veiling (hijab) laws, said Amnesty International. 

The organization has identified a pattern of at least six such cases since April 2019. In one of them, a young women’s rights defender has been subjected to enforced disappearance defender from 2 to 13 July.

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Saba Kordafshari, aged 20, is one of the women warriors against compulsory hijab. She was arrested on 1 June and has been kept in prison, including 11 days in solitary confinement and many days of interrogations.

During her time in confinement, Saba has endured harsh treatments, physical threats and was put under severe pressure to make false confessions before a camera and denounce her views against compulsory hijab. She was especially pressed to denounce the White Wednesdays campaign on camera. The security service agents promised her she would be released if she “confessed.” Otherwise, they threatened to arrest her mother Raheleh Ahmadi if she did not “co-operate”.

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A video of a teenage girl in Tehran being violently arrested by police after playing with water guns has sparked fury in Iran, once again exposing Islamic Republic’s draconian laws.

The video first published by Masih Alinejad, an Iranian activist, who campaigns against mandatory hijabs, went viral on Iranian social media networks, and prompted floor of Iranian 30 lawmakers to draft a letter calling on the Minister of Interior to answer for the violent behavior of his officers.

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Yasmin Aryani, a women’s rights activist has been arrested along with her mother, Monireh Arabshahi, and Mojgan Keshavarz for the crime of peacefully protesting compulsory hijab.

Yasmin, only 23, was arrested in Tehran on April 10, 2019, after security forces raided the Aryani home during the early evening hours, taking her along with her laptop.
Her mother, Monireh Arabshahi, was detained the following day after she inquired about her daughter. They are both being held in the Vozara Detention Center based on a complaint by the judiciary’s Islamic Guidance branch, according to news reports.
Yasmin’s crime: appearing in a widely shared video of women peacefully protesting Iran’s compulsory hijab law in a Tehran Metro train on March 8, International Women’s Day.
In the video, both Yasmin and her mother can be seen with their hair uncovered, distributing flowers to passengers on a Tehran metro train while saying they look forward to the day that Iranian women will have a choice on whether to wear a hijab or not.

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After the 1979 revolution in Iran, women have been forced to wear the hijab in public. Back then, more than 100,000 women and men took to the streets to protest against the law and opposition to it has never gone away. In 2018, 112 women were arrested in Iran for defending women’s rights, many for peacefully protesting against Iran’s mandatory hijab law.

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