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Iranian security forces arrest woman for eating at restaurant in public without her hijab, family says | CNN




CNN

Iranian security forces arrested a woman after a photo of her and another woman eating at a Tehran restaurant without their headscarves circulated widely online, her family said Friday. The photo, which emerged on Wednesday, shows the two women having breakfast in a cafe that, like most cafes in Iran, is traditionally frequented by men.

One of the women in the photo, Donya Rad, was arrested shortly after the photo was posted online. CNN spoke with her sister, who said security agencies contacted Donya and summoned her to explain her actions.

“After visiting the designated place, she was arrested, after a few hours with no news, Donya told me in a short call that she was transferred to wing 209 of Evin prison,” her sister told CNN. Tehran’s Evin Prison is a notoriously brutal facility where the regime imprisons political dissidents and is designated exclusively for prisoners administered by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence.

CNN has communicated with Iranian authorities about the suspected arrests.

In recent days, the security forces reportedly detained several influential Iranians, including the writer and poet Mona Borzouei, the Iranian soccer player Hossein Mahini and the daughter of former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Faezeh Rafsanjani.

Iranian singer Shervin Hajipour was also arrested this week after releasing a moving song based on tweets shared by Iranians expressing sentiments why people are protesting, according to the NGO Iran Human Rights..

Hajipour’s song “For…” went viral online, received millions of views, and is widely shared among Iranians both inside and outside the country.

On the front page of the state-aligned daily Hamshahri on Thursday, the headline read “Riot Celebrities” with an image of former soccer player Ali Karimi standing alongside prominent Iranian actors and actresses who have expressed support for the protests. The article says that “they are one of the main reasons for the recent popular protests.”

“We are not the ones causing the riots. We are a drop of the people,” Iranian actor Ehsan Karamy said in an Instagram post addressing the claims made by authorities. “Don’t fool people. Go after the hardliners who have provided the fuel for this fire piece by piece.”

Iranian women open up about hijab law and morality police

The government crackdown has continued after nearly two weeks of protests, with dozens killed in clashes between security forces. Iran Human Rights estimates that at least 83 people, including children, have been confirmed to have been killed in the protests following Mahsa Amini’s death.

More than a thousand people linked to the protests have been arrested as of last weekend, according to the state news agency IRNA. At least 28 arrested journalists were arrested as of Thursday, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Amnesty International said on Thursday that they are “investigating the authorities who carried out mass arrests of protesters and bystanders, as well as journalists, political activists, lawyers and human rights defenders, including women’s rights activists and members of oppressed minority ethnic groups.

Despite the mounting death toll and the fierce crackdown by the authorities, videos circulating on social media show protesters calling for the downfall of the clerical system in the cities of Qom, Rasht and Mashhad.

CNN cannot independently verify claims of arrest or detention. A precise number of protesters arrested or detained is impossible to confirm for those outside the government of Iran. The numbers vary according to opposition groups, international rights organizations and local journalists.



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