Iran: Men Wearing Headscarf in Solidarity with Protesters

NY Times/WLUML Networkers

On Wednesday, The Lede looked at the response from Iranian bloggers and human rights activists to the treatment of Majid Tavakoli, a student leader who was detained after Monday’s demonstrations in Tehran, and subsequently mocked by official Iranian news agencies that published photographs of him wearing female clothes taken after his arrest.

Supporters of Iran’s opposition suspect that the photographs of Mr. Tavakoli were either faked or staged by the security forces to embarrass him. Writing on Twitter on Thursday, Omid Habibinia, an Iranian journalist who micro-blogs from Switzerland, reported that some male Facebook users have found a new way to express their support for Mr. Tavakoli — by changing their profile pictures to show them wearing similar clothes.

In a post on the Web site of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty — which is supported by the American government — Golnaz Esfandiari provided links to a collection of these photographs on another blog and to a Facebook page set up to “support of Majid Tavakoli” and also condemn “forced hijab in Iran.” According to the Iranian blogger Mojtaba Samienejad, the stunt of releasing these photographs may have backfired, by reminding male supporters of Iran’s opposition of the way that women in Iran are coerced into dressing a certain way.