Tehran Police quick to condemn revelers for behavior negating 'Islamic values', threaten arrests
Men, women, and children of all ages beat the heat in Tehran on Friday with a water fight at the city's Water and Fire Park, drawing criticism from conservatives for their "immodest" behavior and dress. Local police threatened to arrest the revelers after press agencies published numerous photos of the event.
The park's manager said the water fight had been coordinated. He added that many of the women's headdresses fell victims to the splashing water, "but police couldn't get control of those involved". Only after authorities halted the water flow – some three hours later – did the battle stop, the park manager said.
Tehran Police Chief Hussain Sajedinia was quick to condemn the merrymaking in a country in which young men and women are strongly discouraged to mix. He said a number of people had tried to recreate the water fight on Sunday, behaving in a manner "that opposes Islamic values and social order". He added that police arrested the participants before they could get started.
Iranians generally refrain from holding coed events in public, as Islamic code prohibits it. However this code has been broken a number of times, especially during the summer, which in Iran can manifest in temperatures of up to 38 degrees Celsius. Pictures from the water fight have been uploaded to a number of different social websites, causing some concern for participants whose faces can be seen clearly, as many fear reprisals from authorities.
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