Sepideh Rashnu, a writer and artist who became known in Iran for her vocal opposition to compulsory hijab rules, is in the BBC’s 2023 list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world.
Twenty-eight “climate pioneers,” attorney and former US First Lady Michelle Obama, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and Ballon d'Or-winning footballer Aitana Bonmatí were also included in the list revealed by the British broadcaster on November 21.
Rashnu was arrested in July 2022 after an altercation on a bus with a woman who was enforcing the use of head coverings, and was held incommunicado for around two weeks.
State TV aired a program showing her admitting to “encouraging prostitution,” as signs of beating were visible on her face.
Rashnu was charged in August 2022 with “propaganda against the regime” and “promoting corruption and prostitution” before being released on bail.
Earlier this year, Rashnu was arraigned again after sharing online photos of herself without a headscarf.
“She is currently out of prison and continues to defy the compulsory hijab rules,” the BBC said.