(Persia Digest) – The Vice President for Women and Family Affairs in Iran has responded to banning women from cycling in Isfahan by calling it illegal.

Persia Digest (PD) reports that Isfahan’s prosecutor, Ali Esfahani, said last week that women cycling in public is haram according to the fatwa of Ulema and the law. He added: “As from today, law enforcement must stop women cyclists and confiscate their bicycles.”

He continued by saying that these women must go to the security police, undertake not to cycle in public, and the police will return their bicycle and documents without taking punitive action. If they continue with their haram act, however, the Islamic Penal Code will be applied.

Isfahan’s prosecutor has taken this decision at a time when women cyclists are an ordinary sight in Tehran.

In response to this decision, the Vice President for Women and Family Affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar, told ILNA: “We have no laws banning cycling by women.”

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She continued: “I am not aware what is being cited here. Cycling does not require a permit like motorbikes. Women have always used bikes as a means of transport. It is not used enough. It can reduce air pollution and have a positive effect on women’s health.”

She reiterated: “This must be put up for discussion. I am worried that this may set a precedence for other illegal limitations.”

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