Arrested in Iran for Posing Veil-less on Instagram

Eight fashion workers have been arrested in Iran, accused of promoting “anti-Islamic culture.” Among the various crimes they are being charged for is publishing pictures of women without a veil covering their heads on Instagram, according to a tribunal specialized in computer crimes.

Since two years ago, the justice operation “Spider II” has identified 170 people that had accounts on Instagram, amongst which are 59 photographers and makeup artists, 58 models and 51 representatives of several fashion firms, according to an official communication.

“We’ve discovered that 20% of Instagram in Iran was controlled by the fashion world,” said Javad Babaie, a judge from this tribunal on national TV last Sunday.

The eight people arrested were “airing immoral contents and anti-Islamic culture,” especially pictures of models who weren’t wearing the mandatory veil Sharia prescribes for all women. In Iran, 60 % of users were following some of these accounts, they’ve assured.

Muslim women have to remain covered, being only allowed to show their hands and face in public. Muslim women have to remain covered, being only allowed to show their hands and face in public.

Instagram is extremely popular in Iran, where Facebook and Twitter are forbidden. According to judge Babaie, it’s among the duties of justice to “act against those who commit such crimes in an organized way.” Apart from the eight arrested people, 21 more processes have been initiated.

Last Sunday, Iranian national TV broadcast a live program in which a model, Elham Arab, explained “voluntarily” before the attorney of Teheran that she regretted what she had done, and gave Iranian women a piece of advice – don’t make the same “mistake.”

Veils have been mandatory in Iran since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. According to Islam, women have to dress modestly. Everything but a woman’s hands and face must be kept away from sight in public settings. They mustn’t wear clothes that are too tight, and some Islamic schools even forbid women to show their faces at all.

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