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Irani female journalist rearrested for sharing veil-less photo on social media

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A woman in the Cypriot capital Nicosia looks at a screen on November 4, 2022, displaying an undated video of Iranian journalist Nazila Maroufian.—AFP/File
A woman in the Cypriot capital Nicosia looks at a screen on November 4, 2022, displaying an undated video of Iranian journalist Nazila Maroufian.—AFP/File 

A Tehran-based journalist, Nazila Maroufian, has been rearrested for defying Iran’s strict dress code and posting a photo of herself without a headscarf on social media.

Maroufian was first arrested in November 2022 for interviewing the father of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd who died in police custody last September for allegedly violating the dress code. Maroufian’s interview with the father sparked months of protests.

Maroufian was released on bail in August 2023, but she was rearrested on Wednesday for again posting a photo of herself without a headscarf on social media. She is now facing charges of “propaganda against the system” and “spreading false news”.

Maroufian’s rearrest comes just days ahead of the first anniversary of Amini’s death. Her lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, is also facing charges of “propaganda against the system.”

The arrests of Maroufian and Nikbakht are the latest in a series of crackdowns on dissent in Iran. The government has been increasingly repressive in recent years, cracking down on journalists, activists, and anyone who challenges its authority.

The arrests have been condemned by human rights groups, who say they are a violation of freedom of expression and the right to free assembly.

The re-arrest of Nazila Maroufian is a reminder of the harsh reality facing women in Iran who dare to challenge the country’s strict dress code. It is also a sign of the government’s increasing crackdown on dissent.

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