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Iranian Couple Arrested After Kissing Photo Goes Viral

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    Iranian police have arrested a couple for exhibiting ‘improper’ and ‘unreligious’ behaviour. The couple’s photos of a rooftop kiss and hugs went viral on social media last week.

    Iranian news outlet Tasnim News Agency quoted the country’s police statement as saying that the images of a young boy and girl who “exhibited improper and unreligious behavior were published on social media”. The statement noted that the couple was arrested by the police with the judiciary officials’ command, because what they did was a sample of ‘advocating vice’.

    Alireza Japalaghy, known among parkour athletes for his acrobatic stunts, was arrested first, on Monday. The stuntwoman with him on videos, reportedly his girlfriend, was detained later on Thursday.

    Their custody provoked reactions on social media. People raised questions about how police can be so swift in seizing those who kiss, compared with those who commit crimes such as financial corruption, when the country suffers from international sanctions.

    It is not the first time that social media celebrities have been arrested for crossing the ‘red lines’ of Iran. Last October, the Iranian influencer Fatemeh Khishvand, known as Sahar Tabar, was arrested and sentenced to imprisonment for posting her photos with makeup and poses on Instagram.

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