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Iranian woman arrested after photo of her eating breakfast goes viral

A woman pictured in a now-viral photo eating breakfast at a restaurant without a headscarf in Iran has been thrown in jail.

Donya Rad was pictured with a friend sitting inside the eatery in Tehran. Both women have their hair uncovered.

The photo was quickly shared on social media, with people praising the women for their civil disobedience in the face of the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women.

Ms Rad’s sister took to Twitter to share the news that her sister had been arrested after the photo was uploaded.

Donya Rad and a friend sit at a cafe in Tehran without headscarves
Donya Rad and a friend sit at a cafe in Tehran without headscarves, in a photo that prompted her arrest. Source: Twitter

“Yesterday after this photo was published, the security agencies contacted my sister Donya Rad and asked her to give some explanations,” her sister Dina wrote, according to AFP.

“Today, after going where she was told, she was arrested. After a few hours of silence, Donya told me in a short call that she was transferred to ward 209 of Evin prison,” she said, referring to a notorious wing of the Tehran jail.

“Our family is very concerned about her well-being,” she added.

An Iranian journalist who shared the image said Ms Ran’s story was a “horrific” example of “being a woman in Iran in 21st century”.

Protests sparked by woman's death in police custody

Ms Rad’s arrest comes during protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died three days after being arrested by the Islamic Republic's morality police for "unsuitable attire”.

The protests, now entering its third week, have spiralled into the biggest show of opposition to Iran's clerical authorities since 2019, with dozens killed in unrest across the country.

The demonstrations began at Amini's funeral on September 17 and spread to Iran's 31 provinces, with all layers of society, including ethnic and religious minorities, taking part and many demanding Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's downfall.

A woman burns her headscarf in protest of Amini's death in police custody in Iran.
Protests held worldwide after Ms Amini's death have seen woman burn their veils and cut their hair in public. Source: PA via AAP

Women have been heavily present at the rallies, with many waving or burning their veils, or cutting their hair in public.

The lawyer for Amini's family, Saleh Nikbakht, told the semi-official Etemadonline news website that "respectable doctors" believe she was hit in custody. Amini's autopsy report and other medical details have not been released, but her father said he saw bruises on her leg and that other women detained with her said she was beaten.

Iran's police authorities say Amini died of a heart attack and deny she was beaten to death in custody.

- with Reuters

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