8 women arrested in Iran for posting photos to social media without hijabs

Headscarves are displayed on mannequins at the Islamic fashion exhibit in central Tehran on March 3, 2015. The exhibition showcases conservative fashion for women and children, most of which are designed in Iran. ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

Authorities in Iran arrested eight women accused of “un-Islamic” behavior for posting photos of themselves modeling without their headscarves on Instagram, the BBC reported. According to a government statement, an operation targeting women for posting photos of themselves to social media yielded information on 170 women identified as being involved in online modeling, including 59 photographers and makeup artists, 58 models, and 51 fashion salon managers and designers. The operation led to 29 women being contacted by police, most of whom “reformed their behavior after receiving a notice.” Eight of the women, however, did not comply with authorities and were arrested. Their individual information was not released. The country’s Centre for Surveying and Combating Organised Cyber Crimes told the BBC it intended to “sterilize” cyberspace and was focusing on Instagram with fresh operations in the coming days.

Tehran’s prosecutor, Javad Babaei, announced the arrests on broadcast television on Sunday, saying that modeling agencies have been “making and spreading immoral and un-Islamic culture and promiscuity” online. He also warned viewers of the “threats to morality and the foundation of family” posed by social media.

(Sadaf Taherian/Facebook)

(Sadaf Taherian/Facebook)

Women in Iran are required to cover their hair in public. Last year, Iranian actress Sadaf Taherian fled the country after posting photos of herself not wearing a hijab to Facebook and Instagram. Authorities in the country called her an “offender” and said she would be barred from acting. Women in the World attempted to contact Taherian earlier this year, but was told she was seeking refuge in the United Arab Emirates and did not respond for requests for an interview. It’s unclear whether Taherian has returned to Iran, but location check-ins of recent posts on her Facebook page suggest she remains out of the country.

Read the full story at the BBC.


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