Dr. Fatemeh Rajaei-Rad, a professor and surgeon, was fired from the Babol University of Medical Sciences a little over a month after she attended an award ceremony for doctors without wearing a hijab, the doctor announced on her Instagram story on Tuesday.

During the ceremony in late October, Rajaei-Rad was honored as an exemplary doctor in the city of Amol, northeast of Tehran, and was seen in a video from the event receiving the award with her hair uncovered and a scarf wrapped around her neck.

The footage sparked outrage among Iranian officials, with the Friday Prayer Imam of Amol, Ebrahim Yaqoubian, calling for “legal and decisive action” to be taken against the surgeon. Yaqoubian added that the health officials present at the event should have confronted Rajaei-Rad and not given her the award.

Mohammad Baqer Mohammadi Laini, the representative for Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in the Mazandaran Province, expressed outrage as well, saying, “This hijab burning is worse than the hijab burnings during the protests,” according to Radio Farda.

Laini complained that the medical officials at the ceremony “presented a plaque of appreciation to a brazen insulter of the greatest Islamic commands and applauded.”

The surgeon was summoned to the Amol prosecutor’s office soon after the event, according to Iranian reports.

Reza Hajipour, the representative of Amol People in Iran’s parliament, as well as the head of Amol’s paramedical faculty, the head of Imam Khomeini Hospital in Amol, and the head of the medical system of the Mazandaran Province were present at the ceremony.

The head of the hospital was fired and replaced after the event, according to the Fars News Agency.

After the incident, a video was published showing the surgeon apologizing for not wearing the hijab and for “insulting the sanctities” of religious citizens. In the video, Rajaei-Rad also said that she doesn’t intend to seek asylum elsewhere, saying “My roots are in this land and water and I have no intention of leaving my country. I chose Iran to live, serve, and die, and that’s why I have to obey all laws, including observing hijab.”

Shortly after the video was published, a close relative of Rajaei-Rad told the Independent Persian that the surgeon had been detained, beaten, and threatened by agents of the intelligence department in Amol and forced by the agents to read a pre-written text for the video.

Iranian authorities have regularly published videos of detainees confessing and apologizing for supposed crimes, with human rights organizations finding that the detainees were often abused and tortured and forced to film the videos with a pre-made script.

The president of Babol University of Medical Sciences told Fars News Agency in October that the misconduct board for legal procedures to be carried out for her membership on the academic board to be revoked. On Tuesday, a final decision was made to fire her from the university.

“The roaring river finds its way, even if it has to pass through hard and impenetrable rocks,” wrote Rajaei-Rad on her Instagram story as she shared the news that she had been fired.

Later on Tuesday, her Instagram page became inaccessible with an error page saying the page may have been removed.

Source » jpost