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Iranian men dress as women in support of detained student activist

Report source: Radio Zamaneh

Iranian student activist Majid Tavakoli

Hundreds of Iranian men published pictures of themselves wearing headscarves and chadors in support of Majid Tavakoli, the detained Amir Kabir University student who was arrested on December 8 after giving a speech during the National Students Day protests in Iran.

Fars news agency and other State media published pictures of him with a headscarf stating: "This student dressed up as a woman to escape from the university campus."

photo published by Fars News Agency

It is alleged that these pictures may have been digitally altered or that after arresting Majid Tavakoli, they might have forced him into wearing female clothing to take the picture. Majid Tavakoli is regarded as the "honour of the student movement" by his peers.

An Iranian photographer rallied Iranian men on facebook to protest the treatment of Majid Tavakoli by the Iranian security forces. He invited them to post a picture of themselves in Muslim head gear on the internet site.

The call, which resulted in over 250 pictures, states that the arrest of Majid Tavakoli and the publishing of his picture in hijab (Muslim female covering) is a mode of "straining the student movement and the Green Movement in Iran," as well as "belittling Iranian women."

Video: We Are All Majid!

The statement adds: "To prove that we are behind Majid Tavakoli, to prove that there is nothing wrong with female clothing and the only thing that's wrong is the compulsory wearing of hijab whether it is forced on the women of this country or upon Majid Tavakoli; to show that we are all together, post your picture in hijab!"

Organizers of this project are also planning a poster in support of Tavakoli.

Some of the Iranian men dressed as women

Majid Tavakoli was arrested after a speech on December 8 during which he directly criticized senior Islamic Republic officials.

State media claim he was dressed in female clothing out of fear of arrest. Majid Tavakoli was also arrested three years ago after a protest rally against the presence of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Amir Kabir University and was imprisoned for 15 months.

Last year he was arrested by the authorities again and imprisoned for another 115 days.

Numerous students were arrested in the December 8 National Students Day events which was used by Iranians to reaffirm their protest to the alleged fraud in the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June presidential elections.

... Payvand News - 12/12/09 ... --

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