A woman in Iran has been sentenced to 24 months in prison, three months without parole, for publicly removing her veil in protest against Iran's compulsory headscarf law.
The punishment was announced by Tehran's chief prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi.
Police claimed the women had been "tricked" into removing their veil by a propaganda campaign being conducted by Iranians living overseas. He cited the fact that the woman had "encouraged moral corruption" as the reason for the stiff sentence.
Dolatabadi said the woman meant to appeal the verdict.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, all women - Iranian, foreign, Muslim or non-Muslim - have been required to be entirely veiled in public.
But the zeal of the country's morality police has declined in the past two decades, and a growing number of Iranian women in Tehran and other large cities often wear loose veils that reveal their hair.
It is not uncommon to see Iranian women driving cars with their headscarves draped over their shoulders rather than on their heads. Some reports said the woman was Nargess Hosseini, 32, who had been arrested during a recent wave of peaceful protests against compulsory veiling in Iran. Dolatabadi said if police witnessed such cases they would impound the vehicle of the offending driver.
The police say the campaign against the veil is backed by Farsi-language satellite TV networks based overseas and purportedly encouraged women participants to take their white headscarves off on Wednesdays.
In the past, women arrested for appearing in public without what is considered proper covering have been quickly released or sentenced to short jail terms and fined about $25.