On January 24, a middle-aged woman was reportedly spotted walking naked during the mid-day rush hour in one of the busiest streets in Bandar-e Anzali, in the northern Iranian province of Gilan. Pictures and videos of her were posted on social media.
There are a number of unconfirmed reports regarding her whereabouts, including one alleging that her dead body was taken to the coroner’s office a few hours after she was arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The same report claims that her corpse showed signs of sexual assault and torture. No one knows for certain what actually happened to her.
Many people believe that she suffered from mental illness. Some witnesses, however, claim that she was protesting against the mandatory hijab, and was shouting “Death to Khamenei” as she marched in the middle of the street.
There are also conspiracy theorists who speculate that the spectacle was staged by the regime itself as a ploy to discredit the #Whitewednesdays campaign, a social media campaign against mandatory hijab.
A number of photographs and videos allegedly showing naked women walking in cities across Iran have been published on social media in recent years. Many people believe that these women either suffer from some form of mental illness or are drug addicts.
In Western culture marching naked or streaking is an effective tactic to protest against oppression. It could also be used as a tool to highlight the excesses of the Islamic Republic regime.