Sexy, young fashion models are increasingly being arrested for doing nothing more than pose for photos on social media without their headscarves.
The headscarf is still mandatory in Iran for women and hardliners enforce this rule through religious police who arrest women who do not wear the scarf, or wear it loosely.
According to Iranian media, security forces arrested six fashion models recently in Tehran who had all posted photographs of themselves not wearing hijab on their Instagram pages.
Just this week more reports surfaced on social media of more models arrested, though these arrests are unconfirmed.
Other reports on social media show young women skiing with no headscarf posting messages high up mountains like “religious police can’t ski well, so we do what we want up here”.
Iran is coming out of a financial crisis as the West recently lifting crippling oil sanctions freeing up billions in frozen assets held outside of the country.
It always has a super rich elite who inside the privacy of high walled mansions enjoyed opulent lifestyles of wild sex parties, alcohol and drugs.
But now, with social media and the influx of American tourists, some women can’t contain their excitement of what they believe could be a more libertarian period.
According to an Iranian news website “authorities and family members of the models have not confirmed or denied the arrests, which were thought to have taken place in late January”.
Two of the models, married couple Elnaz Golrokh and Hamid Fadaei, were allegedly released and fled the country on January 30.
The models believed to have been arrested have been named as Melikaa Zamani, Niloofar Behboudi, Donya Moghadam, Dana Nik, Shabnam Molavi, Elnaz Golrokh and Hamid Fadaei.
All seven have been very active on social media, including Instagram.
Although the arrests could be linked directly to the photographs they posted, there has also been speculation that their sheer popularity online has angered authorities.
It’s not the first time authorities in Iran have cracked down on women behaving badly or for drawing huge traffic which also enrages the authorities.
In October 2014, a web page called “Rich Kids of Iran” was shut down after sizzling photos of children of elite families angered authorities.
The controversial Instagram account might have been too much for the country’s hard liners who probably blew a fuse when they saw the hedonistic pictures with some 300 photos depicting the sumptuous lifestyle of wealthy Iranian youth, from fancy mansions and luxury cars to swimming pools and young women in bikinis, supposedly aiming “to show the world the good side of Iran” as the page administrator told Business Insider on October 7.
All pictures were removed from Instagram shortly after Iranian authorities censored the account which now has zero posts.
The account’s Facebook page, however, is still accessible.
Launched on September 2014, “Rich Kids of Tehran” raised eyebrows in Iran mainly for showcasing alcohol and headscarf-less young women in a country where drinking alcohol is banned by law and women are expected to cover their heads in public.
Yet despite being closed, the move by the authorities appears to have backfired due to the media attention it had drawn.
The now-abandoned account had gained a huge following after receiving international coverage from the likes of Fox News, BBC News, Huffington Post, The Independent and BuzzFeed.