Iranian authorities have banned a film festival after a promotional poster showed an actress not wearing the hijab, a headcover worn by many Muslim women, the country’s state-run media outlet IRNA reported Saturday.
The 13th edition of the Iranian Short Film Association (ISFA) festival was banned after Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance deemed the poster inappropriate, according to IRNA.
“The minister of culture and Islamic guidance 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,” ministry spokesperson Mohammad Mehdi Samoui said in a statement, according to IRNA.
During mass protests across Iran last year, women burned hijabs and cut their hair to protest the obligatory dress code.
The protests erupted following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died after being taken into custody by Iran’s morality police for not wearing the hijab according to government-imposed standards.
The image that caused the festival to be banned is a promotional poster for the 1982 film “The Death of Yazdgerd,” starring Susan Taslimi, AFP reports.
A video circulating on pro-government channels purports to show a ceremony during which the poster was unveiled by a woman not wearing the hijab. It’s unclear when and where the ceremony was held.
“This image relates to a scene…in a film that was produced before hijab was mandatory. Given current sensitivities around the removal of the hijab, the publication of the poster is deemed against social interests,” Samoui told IRNA.
Iranian women risk arrest for not covering their hair.
On July 16, state media reported that the country’s morality police would resume patrols to make women comply with strict Islamic dress codes, after witnesses said they had virtually disappeared from the streets of Tehran during the protests.
Saeid Montazeralmahdi, spokesman for Iran’s enforcement body, Faraja, said police would restart vehicle and foot patrols across the country from July 16, the state-run Fars news agency reported.
Officers will first warn women who are not complying, while those who “insist on breaking the norms,” may face legal action, he said.
In April, two women were arrested after a man threw yogurt on them for not wearing the hijab, according to a video and report published by the Mizan News Agency, the state-run media for Iran’s judiciary.
Video of the incident, which took place in a store in the northeastern city of Shandiz, shows a man approaching one of the women, who is unveiled, and speaking to her before grabbing a tub of yogurt and throwing it over the both women’s heads.