She Made Her Hijab Into a Flag. Then She Vanished

Iranian woman reportedly arrested after making flag out of headscarf to protest morality code
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2018 8:42 AM CST

She tore off her white headscarf, made a flag out of it, and waved it for more than an hour in the center of Tehran late last month, an act of resistance against a strict dress code for women. But now, per the Los Angeles Times, the mystery protester, whose hijab-waving video went viral, vanished soon after, reportedly arrested for violating the country's modesty laws and spurring the #WhereIsShe and #Where_Is_She hashtags. Witnesses say two female cops detained her, and prominent human-rights attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh confirmed to the BBC the woman was indeed arrested on Dec. 27, released not long after, and then rearrested. Sotoudeh adds that the woman is a 31-year-old mother of a toddler. The woman wasn't officially part of the Iranian protests that have recently gripped the nation, but she's become a symbol for those criticizing the government.

She's said to have made her stick-and-hijab flag on a Wednesday, which is the day of the week when those who push back against modesty laws—requiring women to cover their hair with hijabs, among other mandates—do so by donning white. The countrywide demonstrations against national corruption and economic woes didn't start until the next day, but one poster that's circulating shows a rendering of the woman's hijab flag facing down a police baton, with the hashtag #OursIsStronger. Per Radio Free Europe, Amnesty International has released a statement calling for authorities to "immediately and unconditionally" let her go and "to end the persecution of women who speak out against compulsory veiling, and abolish this discriminatory and humiliating practice." (Iran has banned its primary schools from teaching English.)

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