A young woman was left crying and shrieking in pain after two women, believed to be members of a special task force, violently attacked her for wearing a hijab the wrong way. The incident was secretly filmed by an onlooker at what appears to be a public park during the daytime. The video was uploaded on social media and has resulted in anger in the online community.
People who saw the video were disgusted by the violent reaction from special task force members who manhandled the woman to the ground because she wore her hijab loosely, exposing her hair. In Iran, the law states that women should cover up, which is why they are obliged to wear long, loose-fitted clothes and a headscarf or hijab. Those who violate the laws are arrested, fined, or reprimanded in public.
In the violent footage, a woman — believed to be 20-something — wearing a red scarf that exposed some hair on her head was arguing with two people, the Daily Mail reported. Moments later, two women wearing black garments exposing only their faces arrived and started yelling and manhandling the young woman.
The aggressive “morality police” continued physically abusing the young woman, who was already weeping and screaming in fear. There were also other women who seemed to be supporting the task force with their actions.
Hours after the video spread like wildfire on the internet, Iran’s Interior Minister Abdolereza Rahmani-Fazil, ordered to have the matter investigated, The Guardian reported. In an official statement, the incident was described to be “an unusual treatment of a woman at the hands of the morality police.” It was also implied that the woman provoked the police by uttering swear words when she had been cautioned about her hijab.
The video of the incident, which happened on Wednesday and went viral on Thursday, was uploaded to Twitter by Masih Alinejad, who runs My Stealthy Freedom, a Facebook group in which women in Iran show themselves without hijabs on. The hijab has been a requirement for women in Iran since 1979’s Islamic Revolution. However, U.S.-based Iranian activist Alinejad has been aiming to put an end to the compulsory wearing of the headscarf. She has launched various campaigns to make a stand, including one with the hashtag #whitewednesdays. In this campaign, women are encouraged to post a photo of themselves on social media without covering their faces.
In February, 29 women who participated in #whitewednesdays were arrested. Alinejad has also received death threats for her campaigns.
The viral video, which can be unsettling for some viewers, can be found on YouTube.