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.
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.
This revolutionary woman, removed her veil in front of police station fighting to get back her impounded car
There’re many other brave women in Iran. See how bravely she is protesting in front of the police station unveiled.#WhiteWednesdays#چهارشنبه_های_سفید#Where_Is_Shepic.twitter.com/ZPq9cfIGva
— My Stealthy Freedom (@masihpooyan) January 24, 2018
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.
Her name is Maryam Jafarpour. She was an engineer. She took part in #IranProtests. After being arrested, her parents received a call from the regime forces telling them to come and pick up their daughter’s dead body. She is one of the many brave Iranians that this regime killed. pic.twitter.com/vswCN9YXAR
— masih alinejad (@AlinejadMasih) January 20, 2018
At least 39 protestors who had been arrested in #Iran in the cities of Asadabad and Touyserkan were charged with “waging war against God” and “spreading corruption on the earth.”
At least 8,000 protesters were arrested during #IranProtests.https://t.co/ZACdabbVwC#تظاهرات_سراسری
— Armin Navabi (@ArminNavabi) January 24, 2018
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.
Girl of Enghelab Street, #Where_Is_She Vida Movahed who was arrested for removing her headscarf and waving it in the air as a sign of protest to the compulsory hijab law in #Iran#دختر_خیابان_انقلاب#براندازمpic.twitter.com/RwBAow93Kk
— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) January 24, 2018
Journalists and Women’s rights activists all over are also demanding to know her whereabouts.
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) January 23, 2018
This brave woman has been identified as 31-yr-old #VidaMovahed ,mother of 19-month-old baby, she was arrested after taking off #hijab in public & not seen or heard from since #FreeIranhttps://t.co/BAo13d6w6j…
— Annika H Rothstein (@truthandfiction) January 25, 2018
Thousands of people around the world who have supported women’s freedom now have one burning question in their minds; is she even alive?