Young Iranians risk arrest to sing and dance for freedom

This footage shows courageous young Iranians risking arrest to sing a famous revolutionary song, ‘My Schoolmate’, celebrating unity against the country’s theocratic regime, gathering around one daring young woman who risks severe penalties by taking off her hijab (headscarf) and going bare-headed to dance in a joyous protest at the mandatory veiling imposed by the ayatollahs.

The song, a defiant expression of unity against oppression, which is outlawed by the Iranian regime has been passed down through generations from parents to their children and grandchildren.

It is illegal in the Islamic Republic for women and girls to go out in public without wearing the regime-mandated hijab, with thousands of ‘morality police’, introduced by Rouhani’s administration during his first term, deployed to patrol the streets and monitor any violations. Even loose veils which expose the hair are outlawed, with the regime issuing severe penalties for instances of “malveiling.” Punishments for this range from public admonitions to fines or even arrest and imprisonment. The Rouhani administration is routinely referred to as “moderate” and “reformist” by Western media.

Despite these proscriptions, many courageous Iranian women and girls have risked the regime’s wrath by publicly removing their headscarves to take selfie photos, part of a defiant online campaign ‘My Stealthy Freedom’, in protest at the oppressive legislation. The founder of the campaign, Masih Alinejad, who left Iran in 2009 and now works as a journalist in New York, has urged Western female tourists to join them in an expression of solidarity, saying that non-Muslims, as well as Muslims, should join the fight against compulsory dress codes.