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Hundreds Of Iranians Protest Acid Attacks

Hundreds are estimated to have turned out for the protests in Tehran and Isfahan.

Large crowds numbering in the hundreds have demonstrated in Tehran and Isfahan against several recent acid attacks on women that apparently occurred because they were not properly veiled.

Hundreds gathered in front of the parliament building in Tehran on October 22, while eyewitnesses said hundreds came to the Justice Ministry building in Isfahan, the central-western city where the acid attacks took place.

Demonstrators carried signs against the vicious attacks while calling on the state to protect women against violence.

"Where is my face," read a sign held up by a woman. While another sign said: "A secure street is my right."

"Don't allow crimes against women to become legal in the name of religion and Islam," said another sign, which also called for an end to violence against women.

"Acid attacks are a crime, security, security," chanted protesters, including many men.

WATCH: Protests Against Acid Attacks In Isfahan

Other chants and slogans targeted extremists and religious zealots who are believed to be behind the violent attacks.

"Death to the Daesh [Islamic State] School of Thought," some chanted.

Some also called on the parliament to drop a proposed bill that provides protection for religious zealots who attempt to enforce Islamic codes and take action against men and women who they believe violates those rules.

ALSO READ: Iran's Isfahan Outraged Over Acid Attacks

A deputy governor in Isfahan Province declared the rally there illegal, and there was a large police presence at the protest.

At least two survivors of acid attacks attended the demonstration in Tehran, as did leading human rights advocate Nasrin Sotoudeh, dissident Mohammad Nourizad, and human rights activist Narges Mohammadi.

Leading Iranian rights activists Nasrin Sotoudeh (far left) and Mohammad Nourizad (far right) attend a rally in Tehran to protest recent spate of acid attacks on women.
Leading Iranian rights activists Nasrin Sotoudeh (far left) and Mohammad Nourizad (far right) attend a rally in Tehran to protest recent spate of acid attacks on women.

One of the protesters, activist Peyman Aref, told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that Nourizad was beaten up and detained by the police.

Officials from Iran's Interior ministry have said that "three to four" people were arrested in connection with the attacks in Isfahan.

Authorities say four women have been targeted in the attacks in Isfahan. However, local media have said that between six to eight women have become victims of the attacks.

These incidents have led to outrage among many Iranians who have accused hard-liners of instigating the attacks by spreading hatred against women.

PHOTO GALLERY: Acid Attack Protests In Tehran (ISNA)
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    Golnaz Esfandiari

    Golnaz Esfandiari is a senior correspondent for RFE/RL focusing on Iran. She has reported from Afghanistan and Haiti and is one of the authors of The Farda Briefing newsletter. Her work has been cited by The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other major publications. Born and raised in Tehran, she is fluent in Persian, French, English, and Czech.