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Teenagers chatting and skateboarding: This video posted to social media on June 23 could be harmless and taken anywhere. But when the scene takes place in Shiraz, Iran, when the boys are wearing baggy shorts, the girls are not veiled and the two genders rub shoulders, there is an uproar: five people have been arrested among the organizers of the ‘event.
The girls have their hair uncovered, sometimes tight tops and bare arms, the boys wear shorts and baggy, Western-style t-shirts, and they all chat together in the same space: that’s all the Republic Islamist Iran is trying to ban its youth, and that is shown in this 45-second video, which emerged across Instagram, Telegram and Twitter on June 23. These teenagers had found themselves in a skatepark in Shiraz on June 21 on the occasion of “Go Skateboarding day”, an international day of promotion of skateboarding organized by the International Association of Skateboard Companies.
وحشت رژیم از ده نودی ها: در ا انتشار ویدئویی از تجمع تفریحی شماری از دختران و پسران نوجوان در از خیابا #شیراز، مقامهای ای استان فارس از صدور دستور برخورد با عوامل اصلی برگارکننده این تجمع خبر دادهاند.
رژیم هیچ راه حلی جز #سرکوب و باز سرکوب نداره#مرگ_بر_خامنهای #ایران pic.twitter.com/ohWakY3wZ7
— Jale hojabr (@HojabrJale) June 24, 2022
Shiraz city prosecutor Mostafa Bahraini said five people had been arrested, saying they were only protest organizers. He did not give any details on the grounds given for the arrest, nor on the identity and situation of those arrested. There were rumors of the arrest of teenagers, which he denied. The Attorney General of the Islamic Republic, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, for his part declared: “people abroad have the mission to organize these events and are paid for that”.
The director of the local branch of the Iranian skateboarding federation has been removed from his post. In retaliation, local authorities in Shiraz closed bars and bookstores popular with young people.
In Iran, any association between men and women outside marriage is supposed to be prohibited, including for minors. The schools are single-sex. Girls are supposed to wear the veil from the age of 9. In general, all the symbols of Western life are very badly perceived.
This case follows many similar precedents. In 2019, teenage girls were beaten by Iranian police after a water gun battle in a park. The same year, a woman was sentenced to prison after singing alone at a historic site. In 2018, the Margoon Falls, a tourist spot, was closed after women danced there, which they are banned from in public.