Report: Missing Hijab Protester ‘Girl of Enghelab Street’ Freed in Iran


An Iranian woman who became the public face of protest after defiantly taking off her headscarf and holding it on a stick in Tehran has been freed, a human rights lawyer says.

The un-named woman was detained late last year after images of her were widely shared on social media.

As Breitbart News reported, she was arrested for removing her white headscarf and waving it in the air in a sign of protest to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s compulsory hijab law.

The woman’s singular act of bravery and defiance took place on one of Tehran’s busiest streets on December 27, just one day prior to the start of the national uprising against the Iranian government, as part of a movement known as “White Wednesday.” She quickly became a symbol of hope for the protesters.

Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh now says she has seen an official dossier that shows the woman has been released.

“The girl of the Enghelab Avenue has been released”, Mrs Sotudeh, a former political prisoner, wrote in a post on her Facebook page (in Persian) on Sunday.

She was referring to the avenue where the woman took off her headscarf – a punishable offence in Iran.

The lawyer said she had gone to the prosecutor’s office to follow up the woman’s case and had learnt of her release the previous day.

“I hope they don’t fabricate a legal case to harm her for using her basic rights,” Mrs Sotudeh wrote. “She has not done anything wrong to deserve prosecution.”

The woman is believed to be a 31-year-old mother of a toddler.

The BBC reports a hashtag in Persian asking about her whereabouts – and English-language equivalents #where_is_she and #WhereIsShe – have been used thousands of times on Twitter, as well as on other social media channels used in the country where dissent is often met with repression.

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