December 15, 2018

Woman In Iconic Iran Protests Photo Has Been Identified

The woman who symbolized the Iran protests in an iconic photo has been identified and reportedly been arrested twice.

Her name is Vida Mohaved, the 31-year-old mother of a 20-month-old child. During the Iran protests at the end of December, she threw off her hijab on Enghelab Street and waved it around on a stick:

According to a Facebook post from human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, Mohaved was arrested once after she waved around the hijab, was subsequently released and then arrested again. Her whereabouts since have been unknown.

Iran has since stated they would no longer enforce their laws requiring women to hijabs in public; typically women who fail to wear one are subjected to the equivalent of a $12 maximum fine or face two months in prison, according to AFP.

However, Sotoudeh told AFP that before women who have broken that get a chance at a trial, the police take them to a location where they are “harshly beaten up.”

“The illegal punishment they have had to bear has always been much more than what is foreseen in the law,” said Sotoudeh.

Now that Mohaved has been identified, social media has come out in support of her with hashtags of “#Where_Is_She” and “#FreeVida”:

Amesty International released a statement calling on the Iranian government to release Mohaved:

Mohaved’s act of defiance has been a source of inspiration worldwide, even going as far as resulting in the White Wednesday protests where Iranian women remove their hijabs in protest of the regime.

“Her gesture was seen as a symbol of resistance,” activist Masih Alinejad told Al-Monitor. “Her protest caught the imagination of Iranian women and men, feminists and non-feminists.”