Take Action for Human Rights
Free Yasaman Aryani, in jail for peacefully protesting forced veilings
With her hair boldly uncovered, Yasaman Aryani handed out white flowers to women passengers on a public train. A video of her brave act of defiance went viral in March 2019, prompting Iran’s authorities to arrest her. Now Yasaman has been sentenced to a shocking 16-year prison term — all because she believes women should have the freedom to choose what they wear.
It was International Women’s Day 2019 and Yasaman, an actor who loves mountain climbing, stood up to Iran’s forced veiling laws in a brave act of defiance.
She spoke of her hopes for a future when all women would have the freedom to choose what to wear, so that one day they could walk together “me without the hijab and you with the hijab.” On 10 April, Iran’s authorities arrested Yasaman, holding her cell for days while interrogators questioned her. On 31 July, Yasaman learned to her shock that she had been sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Yasaman’s cruel punishment is part of a wider crackdown on women campaigning against forced veiling laws in Iran. Since 2018, dozens of women, including Yasaman’s mother, Monireh Arabshahi, have been arrested.
Take Action: Tell the Head of the Judiciary to free Yasaman and her mother, Monireh Arabshahi, now.