Nation & W rld
February 14, 2018 The Signal page 7
Protests against hijab law prompt arrests By Megan Mayernik Correspondent Iranian police arrested 29 women on Jan. 31 for protesting an Iranian law that requires all women to wear a hijab, a traditional Islamic veil. Iranian women have protested the law for nearly four decades, but a new wave of outcry across the country is drawing more attention than ever and has sparked a personal freedoms debate in Iran, according to The Guardian. Demonstrations against the law are steadily gaining momentum. Eyewitness accounts describe over two dozen women ripping off their hijabs in protest, according to The New York Times. One proponent of the protest movement is Masih Alinejad, an Iranian activist based in the U.S. Alinejad has called on the women of Iran to engage in a movement called “White Wednesdays,” in which participating women wear all white, remove their veils and place them at the end of sticks to wave them around like flags, according to The New York Times. In the past, women who allowed their
hijabs to slip were often reprimanded by Iranian religious police, yet under the moderate President Hassan Rouhani, rules on hijabs have become more relaxed, according to CNN. Easing the enforcement of this law in Iran has empowered younger women to be more defiant in protesting for their freedoms. Despite the looser enforcement of the law, the 29 protesters who deliberately removed and waved their hijabs were imprisoned, according to The New York Times. Vida Movahed, a 31-year-old Iranian activist, attracted global attention following her arrest in December, after an video of her protesting the compulsory veiling law by waving her hijab from the end of a pole went viral, according to CNN. Soheila Jolodarzadeh, a female member of * Iranian Parliament, explained that the protests were the result of longstanding and unnecessary government restrictions of personal freedoms, according to The Guardian. “We imposed restrictions on women and put them under unnecessary restrains. This is why ... girls of Enghelab
Women unite against Iran’s mandatory hijab-wearing policy.
Street are putting their headscarves on a stick,” Jolodarzadeh said, according to The Guardian. The demonstrations compounded the disagreement between President Rouhani and Iranian conservative religious leaders, according to The New York Times. Rouhani sided with the demonstrators, insisting that they had a right to speak out and stated, “One cannot force one’s lifestyle on the future generations.”
The Trump administration praised the protesters on Feb. 2, according to The New York Times. Involvement and support from the U.S. along with Rouhani’s backing indicate a hopeful future for the expansion of freedoms for Iranian women. “People should be free to choose the clothes they wear, and practice their faith as they desire,” said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, according to The New York Times.
Tight security accompanies Super Bowl LII
Minnesota authorities work to prevent trafficking.
By Kiana Stockwell Correspondent
All eyes were on Minneapolis, Minnesota on Feb. 4 as the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots went head-to-head in Super Bowl LII. The game drew an enormous crowd of football fans, and unbeknownst to many, a large number of human traffickers as well. “The Super Bowl is the greatest show on Earth, but it also has an ugly underbelly,” said former Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot, according to USA Today. “It’s commonly known as the single largest human trafficking incident in the
United States.” The stadium’s massive crowds of tourists and spectators provide sufficient cover for human trafficking, prostitution and other illegal acts, according to The Huffington Post. Minnesota is ranked 13th in the U.S. for highest amount of incidences of sex trafficking, according to The Root. Clemmie Greenlee, a former sex trafficking victim, spoke about her experience at large events like the Super Bowl in The Huffington Post. “If you don’t make that number (of sex customers), you’re going to dearly, dearly, severely pay for it,” Greenlee said. “I mean with beatings, I mean with over and over rapings.” The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension engaged in a “sting operation” to find and arrest sex buyers and traffickers in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. Undercover police took to social media, where sex trafficking often flies under the radar. Over 30 traffickers were arrested on probable cause for solicitation of a minor. Additionally, seven were arrested for sex trafficking or promoting prostitution, and 14 women were “rescued from trafficking situations,” according to The Star Tribune. Lauren Martin, a representative from the University of Minnesota Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center, spoke about Minnesota’s human trafficking
problem in an article by The Root. “We are a wealthy state, predominantly white state; we’re a northern state; we have a lot of corporate headquarters here; we have an international airport,” Martin said. “We have a lot of conventions and things that draw people in.” 23 law enforcement agencies have been combing through hotels and online sex websites to target suspicious individuals in preparation for the game, according to Reuters. According to CBS, overall arrests decreased in downtown Minneapolis as compared to last year’s number of 117. There were 75 arrests on the night of the game. “We were able to (affect) a good number of arrests and rescue some people that in fact were being trafficked,” said John Elder, an officer with the Minneapolis Police Department, according to CBS. Bradley Myles, the chief executive of Polaris, an anti-sex trafficking group, spoke to Reuters about the persistence of human trafficking in the U.S. “All this is, is a one-day snapshot into what otherwise is a 365-day problem,” Myles said. “The same traffickers ... during the Super Bowl, they’re going to wake up in the morning on Monday and do the same thing.” For resources or more information call the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888, or visit humantraffickinghotline.org.
Migrant boat accident off Libyan coast kills 90 By Danielle Silvia Copy Editor
A boat smuggling Pakistani and Libyan migrants capsized off the coast of Libya on Feb. 2, killing an estimated 90 people aboard, according to CNN. Migrants departing from Libya aim to enter Europe through countries like Italy and Greece by way of the Mediterranean Sea. Later that morning, 10 bodies were found washed ashore near the Libyan town of Zuwara, according to CBS. The boat appeared to be sailing in calm waters but became unbalanced and wobbly as the boat approached Zuwara, according to The New York Times. Leonard Doyle, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, explained the
likelihood of finding more survivors in an article by CNN. “They are still searching for survivors, but it is very, very unlikely, it seems, at this point,” Doyle said. In January of this year alone, about 246 people have died while traversing the Mediterranean migrant route, according to CNN. “We are told that two survivors swam to shore, and one person was rescued by a fishing boat,” said Olivia Headon, a spokeswoman for IOM, according to CBS. “We are working to get more details on the (capsizing) and where the survivors are so that we can assist them better.” The number of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea has been rapidly rising. Pakistanis make up one of the largest portions of migrants using the route. In January of this year, they
composed the third-largest contingent, according to CBS. “(The refugees) find themselves stuck in a horrible situation, vulnerable to human rights violations and the slave market. So they may have no choice but to seek a crossing to Europe,” said Flavio Di Giacomo, a United Nations migration official, in an article by The New York Times. Di Giacomo hypothesized that several migrants may have chosen the path to migrate through Libya as opposed to other routes, such as through Turkey or Greece, because such routes are much more dangerous to cross AP Photo during winter months, according Zuwara is a common destination for Pakistani migrants. to The New York Times. Due to the ongoing political to Europe, according to The New to CNN. “So far we have probturmoil and violence in Libya, York Times. ably seen the only survivors we the nation has become a hub for “It’s an absolutely shocking are going to see, let’s hope there migrants looking to be smuggled tragedy,” Doyle said, according are more.”
The 02/14/18 issue of The Signal, The College of New Jersey's student newspaper