Iran bans film festival over poster of actress without hijab

The Iranian Government has banned a film festival because its publicity poster featured an actress not wearing a hijab headscarf, state media said.

The ban comes after the Iranian Short Film Association, ISFA, released a poster for its upcoming Short Film Festival featuring Iranian actress Susan Taslimi in the 1982 film titled  “The Death of Yazdguerd”.

“The culture minister has personally issued an order to ban the 13th edition of the ISFA Film Festival, after using a photo of a woman without a hijab on its poster in violation of the law”, state news agency IRNA reported.

The festival had been scheduled to hold in September.

Wearing a hijab, covering the head and the neck has been compulsory for women in Iran since 1983, shortly after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

However, Iranian women have increasingly flouted the strict dress code since mass protests began last September calling for an end to the compulsory hijab.

The months-long protests were triggered by the death of 22-year-old Iranian,Kurd Mahsa Amini who had been arrested by the morality police for allegedly breaching the strict Islamic dress code.

Earlier this month, police said patrols have been relaunched to catch the increasing number of women ignoring the law.

The judiciary’s Mizan Online website disclosed that legal measures were being taken against Digikala, a major e-commerce company, over images of female employees not wearing head covering.

On Wednesday, a Tehran court handed prominent actress, Afsaneh Bayegan a suspended two-year prison sentence for failing to wear the hijab at a public event.

It also ordered Bayegan to make weekly visits to a psychological centre “to treat the mental disorder of having an anti-family personality” and to submit a health certificate after her treatment, Fars news agency reported.

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