September 04, 2019

Woman sets herself on fire after being charged for illegally entering football match in Iran
An Iranian woman has set herself on fire outside a court in Tehran after being tried for resisting arrest by morality police for trying to enter a football stadium disguised as a male spectator. According to Rokna news agency, the woman, named only as Sahar, has been taken to a local hospital with life-threatening burns. A spokesperson for Iran’s judiciary has said the woman “had been engaged in a physical confrontation with security forces in February" after resisting arrest on charges of and insulting police and bad-hejabi, refusing to abide by strict Muslim dress codes. She had been detained but later released to appear in court on charges of “insulting the public by defying the dress code for women”, according to court papers. Ahead of a court hearing on Monday she says she was told by a source that she faces six months in prison. She asked the judge to postpone her trial so she could attend a funeral. When she came out of the building she set herself on fire in front of the usually crowded complex that houses several courts. Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 Iranian women have been banned from attending football stadiums as the clerical regime regards watching men playing football in shorts “promoting promiscuity”. Dr. Mustafa Dehmardi, the head of accident and emergency at Motahari hospital in Tehran, told Rokna news agency that Sahar had burns caused by petrol fire on 90 per cent of her body. She is currently in the hospital's intensive care unit. Iranian women’s rights activists have long been campaigning to enter sports stadiums, and in recent years they have been allowed to attend volleyball matches only if accompanied by their spouses in designated areas.
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