File photo of Iranian women defying hijab rules in public in Rasht

Large Hijab Protest Breaks Out In Iran On Sunday Evening

Sunday, 07/16/2023

Images and reports on social media indicate that a large crowd in Rasht, northern Iran have been protesting evening after security forces tried to arrest three women over hijab.

A video received by Iran International shows thousands of people gathered gathered outside the city hall in Rasht after the hijab police tried to whisk away three women. Onlookers intervened and rescued the women. As the news of the incident spread in the city, residents began to gather in the square in protest.

Some tweets say that gunshots were heard and security forces also fired tear gas, but it is too early to verify those reports.

Iran on Sunday officially announced the return of the hijab police to streets and earlier videos and reports received from Iran showed numerous incidents of confrontations between women who chose to appear without covering their head and plainclothes hijab enforcers.

Last September, the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in hijab police custody triggered months of protests and the government for a while ordered enforcers off the streets. But in the past six months more and more women have shed the hijab and appear in public in ordinary attire.

Clerics and hardliners however have been pushing for a forceful reaction to what they call "loss of honor", "lawlessness" and a phenomenon threatening the very foundations of the clerical regime.

A video emerged on Saturday showing a hijab enforcer attacking and trying to detain a teenage girl. The video quickly became viral on Persian Twitter.

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