The Iranian woman who protested the country’s ‘modesty’ dress code by standing on a pillar box in Tehran and waving a hijab, is missing and feared to have been arrested.
She had taken off her white headscarf and tied it to a stick in an apparent reference to the ‘White Wednesday’ protests against clothing restrictions on women in Iran.
Not covering your hair in public is a punishable offense for Iranian women, and the unnamed protester, a 31-year-old mother-of-one, is believed to have been arrested by police.
The woman has not been seen since the video of her standing on the pillar box on one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, without a headscarf or long coat as required under Islamic law, went viral.
The video, widely shared on social media, showed her waving a white scarf in a solemn and brave protest.
The video and images of the woman are thought to have been taken on December 27, a day before economic protests broke out across the country, which helped the images go viral even though they were apparently unconnected.
Thousands of social media users have shared messages, dubbing her the ‘Girl of Enghelab Street’ after the area in central Tehran where she staged the protest. Using the hashtag ‘#Where_is_she?’, supporters have been sharing the video and images of the woman, demanding that authorities reveal her whereabouts.
Nasrin Sotoudeh, a renowned human rights lawyer, has taken it upon herself to investigate the disappearance, and said she is certain the woman is in custory.
Ms Sotoudeh said she could not find out the woman’s name, but had been told she was 31 years of age, and had a 19-month-old baby.
‘What I am certain about is that this lady has been arrested,’ she told AFP.
‘The witnesses on the scene who saw her being taken away and even accompanied her to the police station gave me this information. I have no contact with her family.