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Iranian Feminist May Face Death Penalty for Protesting Compulsory Hijab

A lawyer in Iran has expressed concern about the condition of his client Mozhgan Keshavarz and said that her life is in danger.

Mozhgan Keshavarz, an Iranian feminist, was arrested in early 2019 along with two other women’s rights activists, Munirah Arabshahi and Yasman Ariani (mother and daughter), for protesting against the compulsory hijab. Before their arrest, these three had published a video on social media giving flowers to women in the metro without hijab on 8 March. The three were charged with “gathering and coordinating with the aim of acting against national security,” “propaganda against the government,” and “promoting and encouraging corruption and prostitution through the promotion of not wearing hijab.”

Keshavarz was sentenced to 12 years and 7 months in prison. Keshavarz was released on parole last winter due to her ill health. Now, by new charge, the judiciary of the Islamic Republic has accused Mozhgan Keshavarz of “corruption on earth”, which may carry the death penalty for her. And it can be extended to other opponents of compulsory hijab.

The charge of “corruption on earth” has been brought against many protesters who have been arrested in Iran.

This is a new innovation by the judicial system of the Islamic Republic, which condemns an opponent of compulsory hijab to such a punishment. The current punishment for not wearing hijab is whipping and imprisonment.

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