Ripped jeans: forbidden according to Sharia’s modesty imperative. Beating a 14-year-old girl for wearing ripped jeans: pleasing to Allah.
A 14-year-old girl has been beaten and detained for wearing ripped jeans in Iran in the latest incident of police brutality against women and girls.
Zahra*, who The Independent is not identifying for fear she may suffer reprisals, was celebrating her birthday with friends last week when a patrol of “morality police” pulled up.
The teenager said officers tried to force her and her friends into their car in the city of Shiraz, beating them when they resisted.
“There were two women and two men in a huge van and they pushed us into it with the force of their beatings,” she recalled. “Their objection was to the ripped jeans that we were wearing. There were really no other issues concerning my friends and I.”
Zahra and the other girls were released after being made to sign written pledges that they would not wear the trousers again and adhere to Iran’s strict interpretation of “modest” dress codes in the future.
“I still carry the bruises sustained from their beatings on my face,” she said. “I still feel their pressure on my arm and my ribs still hurt.”
In an exclusive interview with The Independent, her mother described the ordeal as “the worst day of my life, as if the world has ended for me”.
“I know my daughter feels the same,” she added, recalling how she helplessly followed the morality police car to the station.
Zahra’s mother, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, said male officers had threatened the girls with pepper spray to get them into the car, while female officers hit them and pulled their hair.
“It was unbelievable,” she added. “When I entered the room, they were saying that these girls are not children any more and should wear proper clothes.
“Signs of bruises are still visible all over her body. My daughter and her friends were wearing ordinary clothes, it was just that they were wearing ripped jeans.”
Masih Alinejad, who runs the My Stealthy Freedom rights campaign for Iranian women, said many others had gone through similar experiences….