Iranian authorities lash anti-hijab advocate for not wearing head covering

Veiled Iranian women are seen in Tehran, Iran, Feb. 24, 2016. [Reuters]

An anti-hijab advocate in Iran, Roya Heshmati, has been lashed 74 times by Iranian authorities on charges of “injury to public chastity" for not wearing the mandatory head covering.

Heshmati was detained at her home in Tehran last April after sharing an unveiled image of herself on social media, according to her lawyer, Mazyar Tataie.

Tataie said Heshmati had been convicted in two distinct cases, facing charges of "propaganda against the system," "presence in public spaces without Islamic hijab," "injury to public chastity," "production of obscene content," and "encouraging corruption."

The lawyer said Heshmati served a 15-day prison term, and an appellate court upheld the sentence of 74 lashes for the charge of "injury to public chastity."

According to the attorney, Heshmati said to the judge who deemed mandatory hijab as a law, "Let him enforce the laws; we will persist in our resistance."

The United Nations and human rights organizations have consistently denounced punishments like finger amputation and lashes as "barbaric," "medieval," and forms of "torture." They have persistently called for the abolition of these physical punishments in Iran.

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