Hundreds of Iranians joined together on Wednesday in Isfahan to protest a string of acid attacks on women in the city that have left one dead and sent others to the hospital.
At least four women had acid thrown on them last week in Isfahan — a city located more than 300 miles south of Tehran — igniting strong public backlash. According to some news reports, however, as many as eight women may have been attacked.
Iran's state news agency reported Sunday that four people have been arrested in connection with the attacks. Under Iranian law, the perpetrators could receive the death penalty for the acts, if they are convicted, according to a report from the semi-official Fars News Agency.
Women in Iran are required by law to respect hijab and remain covered from head to toe when in public, and some Iranians have speculated that the women were attacked because they weren't covered.
A video of the protest shows the crowd squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder in a city square, cheering a speaker who condemns the recent attacks in Isfahan, which is the former capital and remains the country's top tourist destination.
Video Credit: Instagram/vahid8832
"One of the unpleasant and criminal acts last week was the acid attacks in Isfahan and the case with this violent action should be pursued by relevant officials and serious and tough action should be adopted for identifying and prosecuting the perpetrators," Gholam Hossein Ejei, Iran's judiciary spokesman, said at a press conference Monday.
The suspects in custody have not been identified and authorities haven't speculated on their motives. Ejei said he supports a stiff punishment for those responsible for the attacks to show that Iran will not accept such acts.
"The perpetrators of such acts should given such a punishment that it would preempt and intimidate other potential criminals from taking such actions," Ejei said, stressing the women were not attacked because they weren't properly veiled.
The acid attacks came just before Iran's parliament passed a law Sunday that protects people who correct, or reprimand, both women and men who aren't obeying Iran's Islamic laws. The law allows citizens to give verbal or written correction, but does not condone physical acts of violence like acid attacks.
Follow Payton Guion on Twitter: @PaytonGuion
Photo via Flickr