Anti-hijab activist Sepideh Rashno

Iranian Activist Condemns Her ‘Absurd’ Prison Sentence Over Hijab

Wednesday, 12/06/2023

Iranian civil activist Sepideh Rashno has condemned as “absurd” the four-year prison sentence she is facing over hijab defiance.

Rashno’s outspoken response comes after the regime sentenced her on several charges.

In a post on her Instagram account on Tuesday, she said, "Four years of imprisonment for having hair is just as absurd as if someone were imprisoned for having hands or feet."

Rashno added in a defiant statement targeted at the Iranian regime: "Don't be happy either. Four years of captivity cannot create a change in reality. You are defeated by [people’s] awareness."

Rashno was arrested on July 16, 2022, after a video went viral of a woman haranguing her for failing to wear a veil on public transport. Rashno was later tortured into a televised apology for her actions and for the confrontation. In the “confession” video, there were bruises on her face suggesting she had been tortured. Rashno was released from Tehran’s Evin prison after about 40 days on bail of about $27,000, a huge sum for ordinary Iranians.

She has been found guilty of "association and collusion with the intent of endangering national security" and "propaganda against the Islamic Republic".

She now faces a sentence of 3 years and 11 months.

On Tuesday, Milad Panahipour, Rashno's lawyer, announced the initiation of a third case for his client, revealing that the appeals court had sentenced her to 4 months of definite imprisonment on charges of “publishing obscene images on social media.”

Rashno gained renewed attention last month when a photo circulated online of her meeting with protest rapper Toomaj Salehi after his release from jail having been accused of “spreading propaganda”’.

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