Source: RFE/RL’s RadioFarda
A massive billboard showing dozens of famous Iranian women wearing a hijab has been removed amid fierce criticism less than 24 hours after it appeared in central Tehran, which along with dozens of other cities has been in the grips of daily protests over the death of a young woman while in police custody for allegedly wearing the headscarf improperly.
Pictures on social media showed the billboard on October 13 with the photo montage and the slogan “The women of my homeland, Iran,” coupled with photos from October 14 where the pictures were replaced with a white background and only the slogan.
چون تقریباً هر آدم زنده و مردهای که عکسش رو روی این بیلبورد زده بودن بهشون اعتراض کرد، آخرش عکس «زنان» را از دیوارنگاره میدان ولیعصر درباره «زنان مفاخر ایرانی» حذف کردن و با یه نوشته کلی کار رو بستن :)))
(تصویر سمت چپ پنجشنبه ۲۱ مهر، تصویر سمت راست صبح جمعه ۲۲ مهر) pic.twitter.com/QyAtxw3XyZ
— Sadra Mohaqeq (@SadraMohaqeq) October 14, 2022
The Fars news agency said several of the athletes, political figures, and cultural icons pictured on the billboard complained bitterly about being included and asked for their pictures to be removed.
Some noted they had removed their hijabs in protest of the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained by the morality police for what they called a hijab infraction.
Amini’s parents and eyewitnesses say the young woman, who was visiting Tehran when she was detained, was beaten as she was taken off the street by security agents.
Award-winning Iranian actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya is one of those pictured in the billboard who demanded it be removed.
“I am Mahsa’s mother, I am Sarina’s mother, I am the mother of all the children who are killed in this land, I am the mother of all Iran, not a woman in the land of killers,” Motamed-Arya said, referring to Sarina Esmailzadeh, a 16-year-old girl who was killed during the violent crackdown that the government has unleashed on the protests.