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Iranian women protest obligatory headscarf; Twitterati praise the bravery

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Iranian women protest obligatory headscarf; Twitterati praise the bravery

Nasrin Sotoudeh, a Tehran-based lawyer and human rights activist, was at the forefront of efforts to publicise Ms Movahed's plight.

According to author Mona Eltahawy, "a total of 6 women made the same symbolic gesture: taking off their head scarves in public & waving them on a stick, emulating a young woman who climbed on the same sort of utility box on Dec.27 & was subsequently arrested", she said on Twitter Tuesday.

At least five women in the Iranian capital Tehran protested the country's compulsory headscarf rules by waving theirs on sticks, social media postings showed on Monday.

"The first demonstrations against the hijab took place a few days after the revolution on March 8, 1979".

In the photos, the women's heads are uncovered as they stand on utility boxes or other objects on the streets of Tehran with scarves held up on sticks.

Now Iranians on social media praising the protesters claim "the girl from Enghelab Street" has proliferated, and photos testifying to a budding headache for Iranian authorities emerged one after the other on social media on January 29.

Standing on the same pillar box as Ms Movahed a month ago, the second woman, identified locally as Nagres Hosseini, was detained on Monday.

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In late December, police said they would no longer arrest women for failing to observe the code.

While it is unclear where the images shared on social media were taken, women who fail to wear a headscarf in the Islamic Republic can be jailed for up to two months or fined 500,000 rials (£9.50).

The woman, reportedly a 31-year-old mother, broke the law by exposing her hair in public, risking arrest and fines.

The wearing of headscarves by Iranian women has been obligatory since Iran's Islamic Revolution of 1979. The announcement signaled an easing, as called for by the young and reform-minded Iranians who helped re-elect President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate, earlier this year.

Iran's clerically dominated authorities insist that women, even foreign visitors, must cover their head and hair in public with a scarf, known as the hijab.

"Many Iranian women are fed up with this hijab rule and now we are seeing them take to the streets".

Women are only allowed to show their face, hands and feet in public and are supposed to wear only modest colours.

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