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Elham Arab (Twitter)


Iranian model arrested for Instagram pics tells prosecutor she is sorry in taped court appearance

By WITW Staff on May 17, 2016

An Iranian model who was arrested as part of the country’s crackdown over Instagram photos — known as “Operation Spider 2” — was shown apologizing to prosecutors in a video-taped hearing over her “mistake” of entering the fashion industry and posting photos to Instagram. The arrest and broadcast apology of model Elham Arab, whose Instagram account frequently showed photos of her with blonde hair and makeup modeling wedding dresses and other clothes, are part of Iran’s crackdown on the fashion industry and social media that yielded eight arrest warrants and more than 120 other individuals who were warned by the government of their Instagram violations and who remedied the problems.

 ”I think all humans are interested in admiring beauty and becoming famous,” Arab, wearing black clothing and a headscarf, told prosecutors in the filmed hearing inside a courtroom. “But they must first consider at what cost and what they will lose in return. For an Iranian film star they may not lose much but for a model she will certainly lose her hijab and honor.”

The country’s Centre for Surveying and Combating Organised Cyber Crimes told the BBC it intended to “sterilize” social media. The eight women who were charged with “promoting Western promiscuity” were identified as Melikaa Zamani, Niloofar Behboudi, Donya Moghadam, Dana Nik, Shabnam Molavi, Elnaz Golrokh and Hamid Fadaei.

Elnaz Golrokh, one of the women whose arrest warrant was issued Sunday, fled the country earlier this year with her model husband, Hamid Fadaei. The glamorous couple has been posting photos of themselves at black tie events in Dubai while others inside Iran are facing arrests and prosecutors.

Read the full story at The Telegraph and The Daily Mail.


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