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Witness Statement: Shima Asaadi


12. Another time after I arrived at university one morning in 2006, a policeman yelled out of his police car: pull your roosari3 forward! There was nothing wrong with my hejab4 therefore I responded by asking what right he had to say something. He again yelled at me and said: if you do not pull it forward, I will come over there and pull it forward! Since policemen in Iran are not allowed to touch women, I responded: if you have courage come here and put your hands on me! He got out of his car and started to beat me. People immediately gathered around and as soon as they saw what was going on, began heckling the policeman. They urged me to leave the area.

13. In early 2007, the Police-110 unit5 stopped their police cars in front of me and, because I was wearing boots, arrested me6. They said they had to punish me so that I would not wear this type of clothing again. I became extremely angry. I said to a woman sitting in the police car next to me: you yourself are a sister sitting in this car and what is your relationship to these brothers! Is hejab only the wearing of a chador! Because you yourself are wearing a chador, does that mean you do nothing wrong! Do you want me to show you my lineage so that you can see which one of us is inept! In response to what I said, she cursed at me and struck me with the back of her hand so forcefully that it broke my nose. When we speak of the police in Iran, this is what we are dealing with. If a typical police officer in Iran approached me and asked me for an address, I would run away because I have no confidence in them

14. One time in 2007, six or seven of my classmates and I were standing in front of Azad University of Sanandaj exchanging information from our course booklets when all of a sudden the guidance patrol arrived and agents, who were all wearing military clothing and berets, stormed upon us and arrested us. They hit us and yelled out bad obscenities. I had been arrested before; therefore, I was scared and did not want to get into the car. I resisted—they used the force of a baton to get me into the car. People gathered in front of the door to the university but there was nothing they could do.

15. They took us to the police station and said that we had not observed the Islamic standards of dress and conduct and that boys and girls had been standing together in front of the University door! They wanted us to contact our families to come to the station and give a pledge in order to free us. Thus, we all contacted our families and with their pledges, we were all freed.

3 A roosari is a headscarf for women. One form of appropriate hejab (mandatory Islamic dress).

4 Hejab refers to mandatory Islamic dress for women.

5The Police-110 unit is a police unit in Iran that specializes in rapid response activities in urban areas and dispersing gatherings deemed dangerous to public order.

6The wearing of high boots tucked into pants on women was formally banned by Iranian law enforcement authorities in December 2007.

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