Brave Iranian woman who took off her hijab to protest, has been reported missing

The brave Iranian woman who became a symbol for women standing up against oppression and Islamic Fundamentalism around the world is now reported missing.

The date was 27 December 2017. In the Enghelab Street of central Tehran, brave Vida Movahed (as some Iranians claim her name is) stood up on a pillar box, took off her hijab and waved it as a sombre, silent protest. For most people like us living in countries that don’t enforce fundamentalism, the gravity of this defiant act might be lost. But for the women in Iran and millions of women around the world, this was monumental. A defining moment in their fight against oppression. Exposing your head and hair in the public is a crime for women in Iran.

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Iran saw widespread protests in December when the public took to streets protesting against the Islamic regime. The protests which started against corruption and economic policies soon turned against the religious oppression practised by the government under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The 31-year-old woman soon became an icon for women worldwide. Her picture waving her hijab became an inspiration for artworks and posters. Movements like ‘My Stealthy Freedom’ supporting Iranian women who want to take off their hijab adapted her image in their campaign. The image of Vida waving her hijab became viral around the world soon. It inspired many other women in Iran to do the same.

The Iranian regime however, suppressed the protests ruthlessly. Many women who dared to take off their hijabs were arrested and many also were later found dead under unclear circumstances.

A couple of days ago, people across Iran began receiving news that Ms Vida is among the several missing protesters too. As reported by these sources she is a mother of a 19 month old child and was last seen being taken away by law enforcement officials.

Human rights activists and people supporting the uprising in Iran have started a hashtag #WhereIsShe to reach out to people across the globe and make the authorities release her.

Journalists and Women’s rights activists all over are also demanding to know her whereabouts.

Thousands of people around the world who have supported women’s freedom now have one burning question in their minds; is she even alive?

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