Tehran, Iran — A new discriminatory lesgislation prohibits women from cycling in public, because, according to sources, it distracts men and it gives them immoral thoughts.
Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini issued a fatwa prohibiting women from cycling in public.
“Riding a bicycle often attracts the attention of men and exposes the society to corruption, and thus contravenes women’s chastity, and it must be abandoned,” he said.
Without a defined penalty in Iran’s legal code, officers have previously used dress laws and other alleged offences including being in the company of unrelated men to harass female cyclists.
It is illegal for women to go out in public without wearing headscarf or “modest” clothing in the country, where thousands of undercover agents and morality police patrol the streets to check for violations.
In July, a group of women in the country’s north were stopped by law enforcement while riding bicycles and required to sign a written pledge to ensure that they will not do it again, some sources report.
Since then, Journalist Masih Alinejad, who lives in the United States, has urged Iranian women, through her facebook page, to post the images of themselves with the hashtag #IranianWomenLoveCycling in defiance to the discriminatory fatwa.