Iran jails fashion workers for ‘spreading prostitution’

by WorldTribune Staff, December 6, 2016

A dozen people who work in Iran’s fashion industry have been handed prison sentences for “spreading prostitution” and a “Western-style culture of nudity” via their posting of what the judiciary considers “obscene” images online.

The eight women and four men were given sentences of between 5 months and 6 years by a court in Shiraz, a lawyer told the Ilna news agency.

Women's attire has been tightly controlled in Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. /AFP
Women’s attire has been tightly controlled in Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. /AFP

The Islamic Republic’s judiciary launched a crackdown on “un-Islamic” behavior by fashion models earlier this year. Iranian law requires that all women cover their hair in public.

The 12 fashion industry workers were convicted of charges including spreading prostitution and promoting corruption via the publication of obscene images online, inciting Muslims to corrupt themselves through putting on fashion shows, and spreading a “Western-style culture of nudity.”

They were also banned from working in fashion and traveling abroad for two years after their sentences are served, lawyer Mahmoud Taravat said. The lawyer said that his clients had denied the charges and planned to appeal.

The lawyer said one man was given a six-year sentence and banned from working in journalism or government service for two years following his release; a woman and a man were jailed for five years and banned from working in fashion design; and a man jailed for two years and banned from working in photography.

In May, the prosecutor of Iran’s cybercrimes court announced the arrest of eight people involved in posting photographs of women without headscarves on social media. They were among 170 models, photographers, make-up artists, salon managers and designers identified as being involved in online modeling.

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