(RepublicanJournal.org) – An Iranian woman recently received a sentence of 74 lashes for refusing to adhere to the country’s draconian dress code. The young woman caused a stir for wearing short sleeves, a knee-length skirt, and no head scarf — all heavy offenses according to sharia law. She took her story to social media, where it quickly gained international attention.
Times of Israel reports that Roya Heshmati was convicted of “violating public morals” for appearing in public with too much of her body visible. Iran requires all women to cover themselves, including wearing hijabs on their heads, when they’re in the presence of men — who apparently can’t handle themselves when faced with a little visible skin.
Heshmati is believed to be of Kurdish descent, and she’s either 23 or 33 years old, depending on the news source. She has been vocally against the forced wearing of hijabs among Iranian women and has defiantly refused to wear the traditional headscarf on multiple occasions. Police reportedly arrested her in April after she posted a picture of herself on social media without her head covered.
Iran Intl states that officials charged Heshmati with not only breaking their religious decency laws but also for allegedly accepting money to conduct her public displays and encourage other women to defy the standard with her. They noted her social media content and alleged she participated in “propaganda against the regime.” Heshmati was originally supposed to serve 13 years in prison in addition to the whipping and a fine, but the court of appeals determined that the prison time was excessive and dropped that part of the sentence.
Women in Iran have been struggling against oppressive hijab enforcement over recent years, with the brutal death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody in September 2022, highlighting the battle. Heshmati’s story, and her brave resistance against the forced headcovers even after receiving her 74 lashes, is just one in a larger effort to end the tyrannical treatment of women under sharia law.
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