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Iran hijab protester freed from jail: lawyer

The headscarf, or hijab, considered a symbol of women's modesty in Islam, is compulsory for females in Iran
The headscarf, or hijab, considered a symbol of women's modesty in Islam, is compulsory for females in Iran AFP/File
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Tehran (AFP)

A woman jailed in Iran for one year for removing her hijab in public to protest against the country's Islamic dress code has been released early, her lawyer said Tuesday.

"Vida Movahedi was summoned by prison authorities on Sunday evening and told that her sentence had been commuted, and combined with some accumulated furlough she was free to go," Payam Derafshan told AFP.

Movahedi, who is in her mid-20s, was arrested in October after removing her hijab from her head at Tehran's Enghelab Square.

She was charged with "encouraging corruption and debauchery" and sentenced by a court in Tehran to 12 months in prison on March 2, Derafshan added.

The lawyer said Movahedi had stated her opposition to the "compulsory hijab" and that she wanted to express her opinion in "a civil protest".

Under the Islamic dress code, women can only show their face, hands and feet in public and are supposed to wear only modest colours.

Movahedi has staged protests in the past.

In December 2017, she stood on a pillar box on Enghelab Avenue without the mandatory long coat and raised her white veil on a stick.

Enghelab means revolution in Farsi and the square and avenue are among the busiest areas in the capital.

Movahedi's move sparked similar protests by other women, including some at the same spot, and they soon won recognition as "Dokhtaran-e enghelab", or the Girls of Revolution Street.

Like other women who copied her, she was arrested, but she was only fined for her first protest.

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