Islamic scholar Sedigheh Vasmaghi

Islamic Scholar Released From Iran's Evin Prison

Tuesday, 04/30/2024

Islamic scholar Sedigheh Vasmaghi was released from Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison on Monday after having since lost her sight and suffered life-threatening heart issues.

Vasmaghi's health deteriorated during her imprisonment, prompting her release after being arrested in March for criticizing Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, labeling him a dictator, and condemning the compulsory hijab laws.

Prior to her release this week, Vasmaghi penned a letter to the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission and various international human rights organizations detailing the abuses she endured personally, and the broader systemic oppression enforced by Iran, particularly targeting women.

In her appeal, Vasmaghi stressed the need to free Iranian women from the country's oppressive hijab laws. "The result of my research on women's clothing is that religious women are not required to cover their hair under Islamic Sharia and some independent researchers in the field of religion have come to the same conclusion," she stated in the letter.

“Many Iranian women have been against the mandatory hijab law for decades, and I have removed my headscarf in opposition to this law and to protest against the oppression of women and their dignity.”

The mandatory hijab has been a central issue in the Women, Life, Freedom movement ignited by the death of Mahsa Amini, who died in the custody of Iran’s morality police in 2022, mass rebellion against the laws imposed since the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979.

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