Model among eight arrested in Iran for ‘un-Islamic’ Instagram posts

Iran has arrested eight people, including a leading model, for what it calls “un-Islamic” acts online such as posting photos of themselves without their hair covered. According to state media, the crackdown is part of an operation codenamed Spider II, and is particularly aimed at those who share images of themselves on Instagram and other social media sites. A television report included footage of Iranian model Elham Arab speaking before Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi in a conference room. The report did not say what charges she faced, nor did it identify the other seven people arrested but they are among 170 people police are investigating.

All people love beauty and fame. They would like to be seen, but it is important to know what price they will pay to be seen.

Model Elham Arab

It is believed most of them work mainly in the fashion industry and include makeup artists, photographers and designers, many of whom have had their businesses shut down as a result. Mr Dowlatabadi has been quoted by the state-owned Iran newspaper as saying  "we must fight with enemy’s actions in this area, of course our actions in this area will continue". The arrests are said to show that hard-liners in the police and judiciary still hold significant power in the country despite President Hassan Rouhani having a reputation as a moderate. In recent years, Iranian women, especially in the capital Tehran, have worn the mandatory scarf loosely on their heads, which has angered conservatives.