Two women were held in Iran after they were filmed riding a motorcycle, thus breaking “revolutionary norms and values”.
The women “exploited the opportunity” presented by the absence of police at a national park to commit an “obscene act” worsened by the viral footage, officials in Dezful city said.
Local police commander Colonel Ali Elhami told the state-controlled IRNA news agency that the women had “committed an action against revolutionary norms and values by riding a motorcycle”.
The police official went on to say that the act manifested the utmost denunciation of religious norms by the two girls and caused serious torment and anxiety among city officials.
“The state security forces carried out an extensive investigation and finally managed to find, arrest, and deliver them to judiciary officials,” Colonel Elhami added.
In the video, the women wearing headscarves and loose clothing were seen being followed down a road by several male motorcyclists, chanting and whistling.
The women then dismounted from their bikes where they were surrounded by a large number of men filming them and taking photos.
Some of the men then attempted to come in their way as one of them grabbed a passerby motorcyclist, apparently to forcibly kiss her face while she pushed him away.
The video sparked a backlash against authorities with some saying that the women had not committed an offence and should have instead been treated as harassment victims.
According to Human Rights Watch’s 2017 world report, Iranian women face discrimination in all spheres of life. Some of these areas include marriage, divorce, inheritance, child custody and freedom of movement.
This article first appeared on Independent