March 17, 2017
A teen reports she was beaten by Iran’s morality police for wearing Western-style ripped jeans, which have become very hip with Iranian youth.
The teenager shared her experience on the Facebook page My Stealthy Freedom, a platform where women from all over Iran share accounts of their run-ins with dress code enforcers.
In the Facebook post, the unnamed teenager wrote, “I was walking on the street with my friends at 8 p.m. when the Guidance Patrol arrived and tried to force us into their car, which we resisted.”
Reports said the girl was celebrating her birthday in Shiraz along with her friends when the dress code enforcers accosted her. She goes on to say, “There were two women and two men with a huge van and they pushed us into the van with the force of their beatings.”
“Their objection was to the ripped jeans we were wearing. There were no other issues concerning my friends and I, other than wearing ripped jeans.”
The girl alleged that the police forced them to sign “guarantee agreements” that they will never again wear ripped jeans.
The Independent of London quoted the girl’s mother as saying, “This is the worst day of my life; it’s as if the world has ended for me. I know my daughter feels the same.” The mother told the British daily that the police threatened to use pepper spray on the girls, while the female officers yanked their hair and beat them up.
The girl wrote on My Stealthy Freedom’s Facebook page, “I still wear the marks from their beatings on my face. I still feel their pressure on my arm and my ribs still hurt.” Photos she posted showed red scrape marks and bruises on her face.
My Stealthy Freedom is an online social movement that was started by Iranian-born journalist Masih Alinejad in 2014. As an act of dissent, women post pictures of themselves in public places without wearing a head covering. Most are seen in quiet places like parks and moun-tainsides. But one woman posted a photo of herself with the Supreme Leader’s palace in the background.
The Facebook page has now passed the one million mark in likes, with 1,064,774 likes recorded as of Monday.
Last year, Iranian app developers launched a mobile application called Gershad that helps Iranians dodge the morality police. The app allows users to report checkpoints set up by the police to enforce the dress code, permitting women to avoid them.