Zeynab Kazempour, who removed her headscarf during the annual assembly of Tehran Construction Engineering Organization on February 17, 2023

Iranian Engineer Who Removed Hijab During Meeting Sentenced To 74 Lashes

Friday, 09/08/2023

Zeynab Kazempour, an engineer who made headlines for removing her compulsory hijab during a meeting in February, has been sentenced to 74 lashes.

The verdict comes in response to charges of "causing harm to public modesty" brought against her, though the verdict has been suspended for five years, likely in a bid to keep the situation calm amidst rising angst as the country nears the one year anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini in morality police custody.

It is believed Kazempour appeared in court on August 28 to face the charges. Following the suspension, the court stipulated that should she commit any similar "crimes" during this period, she will not only receive lashes but also face punishment for her subsequent “misconduct”.

The incident that led to Kazempour's trial occurred during the annual assembly of the Tehran Construction Engineering Organization. She had been barred from running as a candidate for the board because of her not wearing her hijab correctly. In response, Kazempour removed her headscarf completely and took to the stage, making a brief statement asserting, "I don't recognize the assembly that doesn't allow candidates to run because they don't wear a headscarf." Her actions were met with applause from many of the participants and her story of defiance became one of the many which has made headlines since September's uprising.

Kazempour is one of thousands of women who have cast off their headscarves in the wake of Amini's death, the young Kurdish-Iranian arrested for not wearing her hijab properly and subsequently fatally beaten in police custody. Women have been seen burning headscarves in the streets leading to a harsh response from the regime including increased surveillance and bans on entry to public places for those flouting the law.

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