An Iranian woman who made headlines in February after protesting the mandatory hijab during a meeting of engineers in Tehran has been sentenced to 74 lashes for "offending public decency."
The sentence, which was handed down on September 7, is suspended for five years, meaning that the punishment will be carried out if Zeinab Kazemi commits another "criminal offense” during that period.
"I have never regretted raising my voice for justice and against oppression, and I still don't," the defiant engineer wrote on Instagram after the sentencing.
In a video published on social media on February 17, Kazemi protested against her disqualification from a vote at the Tehran Engineers Assembly due to noncompliance with the Islamic Republic’s compulsory hijab rules.
"I do not recognize the assembly that does not allow candidates to run for not wearing a headscarf," she said before throwing her hijab on the stage and leaving.
She also referred to the violence and abuse that Iranian women who refuse to wear a head covering are facing in Iran.
Kazemi's action was met with applause by the audience and widespread approval on social media, with many praising her courage amid a wave of protests sparked by the September 2022 death of Mahsa Amini while in custody after being detained by police for allegedly wearing her headscarf improperly.
All women in Iran must conceal their hair with a hijab while in public and wear loose fitting trousers under their coats.
A growing number of Iranian women who refuse to wear a head covering have been arrested and prosecuted, while dozens of businesses have been closed for failing to enforce compulsory hijab rules for women visitors.