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Women shown joining headscarf protests in Iran

Videos and photos show individual women in locations in Tehran and Isfahan.

Social media postings have shown at least five women in Iran protesting against the obligatory Muslim headscarf by taking theirs off and waving them on sticks.

The videos and photos show individual women in separate locations in Tehran and Isfahan.

Masoud Sarabi, who witnessed one of the protests, confirmed the authenticity of a video shot on Tehran’s Enghelab Street.

The others appeared to be authentic, but the Associated Press could not independently verify them.

The women appear to be following the lead of a 31-year-old protester identified as Vida Movahed, who took off her headscarf on the same street in December.

She was detained for a few weeks and then released.

Women showing their hair in public can be jailed for up to two months and fined 25 dollars (£17).

The Islamic dress code, in place since the 1979 revolution, considers veiling obligatory for any female above 13 in Iran and says they should cover themselves from head to toe while disavowing any figure-hugging dress.

In late December, police said they would no longer arrest women for failing to observe the code.

The announcement signalled an easing, as called for by young and reform-minded Iranians who helped re-elect President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate, earlier this year.

Many Islamists believe the hijab should not be imposed by law, although they consider it a religious task for every Muslim woman.

Mr Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei support softer attitudes toward women with improper hijabs, although hardliners opposed to easing the rules still dominate Iran’s security forces and judiciary.

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