Updated January 8th, 2024 at 09:11 IST
Iranian Woman Flogged 74 Times for Not Wearing Hijab as Nation Tightens its Grip on Dress Code Laws
An Iranian woman was whipped 74 times after she refused to wear hijab defying the country's strict dress code.
Tehran - An Iranian woman was whipped 74 times after she refused to wear hijab defying the country's strict dress code. The woman named Roya Heshmati was charged with “encouraging permissiveness” after she appeared publicly without a hijab on several occasions, The Telegraph reported. Iran's draconian dress code has been a matter of debate all around the world following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. The death of the young Iranian woman prompted a nationwide protest and attracted worldwide condemnation.
“Her penalty of 74 strokes of the lash was carried out in accordance with the law and with sharia,” and for violating public morals,” the judiciary’s Mizan Online website said late on Saturday. Heshmanti was also ordered to pay a fine of a whopping 12 million rials, The Telegraph reported. “The convicted … encouraged permissiveness [by appearing] disgracefully in busy public places in Tehran,” the judgement reads. The women in Iran are required by law to cover their necks and head. The draconian piece of legislation was imposed shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. However, it is important to note that the whippings for breaching the dress code are an uncommon punishment in the authoritarian country.
Heshmati stood tall
Recounting the whole incident the Kurdish human rights organization Hengaw stated that upon entering the court where the flogging was scheduled to take place, Heshmati voluntarily removed her hijab. While her lawyers insisted that she should put on the hijab “to avoid trouble”, the Kurdish-Iranian woman made it clear that she “came specifically for the lashes," The Jerusalem Post reported. The officer who carried out the flogging told her to put on the hijab, but she continued to stand her ground despite several threats.
After a lot of back and forth, two women came and forcibly placed a scarf on her head. They went on to handcuff her so that she could not remove the headscarf. After the punishment was over, Heshmati compared the courtroom to a medieval-era torture chamber. “It resembled a fully-equipped medieval torture chamber,” said Heshmati. She recalled that she quietly chanted, “In the name of woman, in the name of life, the clothes of slavery are torn, our black night will dawn, and all the whips will be axed... ” as the whipping was carried out. “Inside the judge’s chamber, he acknowledged discomfort with the case but insisted on its implementation. I chose silence. He suggested living abroad for a different life; I affirmed our commitment to resistance, emphasizing the universality of this country. He insisted on legal adherence, and I urged the law to fulfil its role while we persist in our resistance,” Heshmati averred. Meanwhile, the woman's lawyer Maziar Tatai stated that Heshmati was originally arrested and had her phone and laptop confiscated for publishing a picture of herself without the hijab.
Published January 8th, 2024 at 09:11 IST