Locals in the Kurdish city of Mariwan have protested how the Iranian security forces tried to prevent women from participating in a weekly public environmental awareness activity.

Riding bicycles as an environmental awareness campaign usually takes place on Thursdays across Iran

Women and men of all ages together begun to take part in the campaign’s activities in the Kurdish city of Mariwan to support the full participation of women in the campaign.

But Iranian security forces in Mariwan prevented Kurdish women from participating in the environmental campaign and seized their bikes before trying to arrest them on 26 July.

Nonetheless, locals protested actions of the security forces.

According to the authorities, a separate women-only location had been planned for local women to ride their bikes without men.

But people protested this discriminatory decision.

Mariwan Governor Mohammad Fallahi and the city’s Imam Mela Mustafa Shirzadi backed actions of the security forces and declared their opposition to women riding bikes in the city.

In the past several days, some of Mariwan´s women activists have begun a campaign to protest such actions by the Iranian authorities and security forces.

The campaign has been welcomed by many people across the Kurdish region, and a signature campaign to back the women has since continued to circulate in the region.

Campaigners hope to use civil disobedience to prevent the unlawful decisions by the Iranian authorities and security forces.

Hundreds of men and women in the Kurdish cities of Sanandaj and Mariwan have snice begun to ride bikes to promote women’s rights and voice support for the full participation of women in all such public activities.