Women in Iran are cutting their hair short and dressing as men to avoid the harsh morality police, it has been reported.
(Article by Julian Robinson , republished from //www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3604661/Women-Iran-cutting-hair-short-dressing-men-avoid-harsh-morality-police.html)
Pictures are increasingly emerging on social media of women defying strict laws in Iran where penalties are imposed for not wearing a hijab.
It comes days after a number of models were arrested and forced to grovel in public for posting glamorous pictures of themselves online without headscarves.
Police arrested eight models in the new crackdown which targeted ‘un-Islamic acts’ such as women exposing their hair.
One famous beauty, Elham Arab, known for her wedding-dress portraits, was interrogated on camera at the Iranian Revolutionary Court with her blonde hair hidden under a black chador.
But despite the crackdown women are still sharing images of themselves in public with their hair uncovered, the Independent reports.
One shows a black and white picture of a woman with short hair and wearing jeans.
A caption alongside the image says: ‘I am an Iranian girl. In order to avoid the morality police, I decided to cut my hair short and wear men’s clothes so that I can freely walk in the streets in Iran.’
Another shows a woman – again with short hair – driving a car as a man drives past on a scooter.
The images were shared on the Facebook page My Stealthy Freedom, set up by New York based Iranian activist Masih Alinejad.
According to the Independent, she launched a campaign calling for an end to compulsory hijab-wearing.
She is quoted as saying: ‘Some girls in Iran would rather secretly dress as men to avoid the compulsory hijab and the morality police. So that is why they make their hair short in order to look like a boy and dress like a boy.
‘It shows that although the Government arrests women who post their photos without headscarves, women are not afraid and they are following their own lifestyle.’
It comes after a series of arrests were made in Iran in a sting operation code-named Spider-2 which particularly targeted users of the picture-sharing site Instagram.
The sting is said to have identified 170 people running Instagram pages – 59 photographers and makeup artists, 58 models, 51 fashion salon managers and designers, and two active institution
In addition to the eight arrests, criminal cases were opened against 21 other people, it was reported.
According to reports those arrested include Melikaa Zamani, Niloofar Behboudi, Donya Moghadam, Dana Nik, Shabnam Molavi, Elnaz Golrokh and Hamid Fadaei.
The hijab has been compulsory in public in Iran since its 1979 Islamic revolution.
In recent years, Iranian women – especially in the capital, Tehran – have worn the mandatory scarf loosely on their head, drawing the ire of conservatives in the Islamic Republic.
Tehran police chief Gen. Hossein Sajedinia in April announced his department had deployed 7,000 male and female officers for a new plainclothes division – the largest such undercover assignment in memory – to enforce the government-mandated Islamic dress code.
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