Iranian poets face lashes for shaking hands with opposite sex

Iranian poets face lashes for shaking hands with opposite sex

Iranian poets face lashes for shaking hands with opposite sex

Written by Staff Writer

29 Oct, 2015 | 9:41 am

Two Iranian poets are facing 99 lashes each for shaking hands with people of the opposite sex in one of the latest examples of harsh punishments meted out against writers and artists by Iran’s judiciary, according to human rights advocates.

The poets, Fatemeh Ekhtesari and Mehdi Musavi, have also both been sentenced to years in prison for “insulting the sacred” in their writings, a decision slammed by freedom of expression activists.

The sentences follow a pattern of arrests and convictions targeting activists, journalists and artists that has served as a grim backdrop to President Hassan Rouhani’s efforts to soften the country’s image and improve relations with the West, attempts that include doing this through the landmark nuclear agreement reached last summer.

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