A court in Iran south east Kerman province sentenced a group of already jailed cyber-activists to prison terms from 1 to 11 years on charges of breaching national security.
Kerman Prosecutor Yadollah Movahhed said on June 19 that the sentenced persons are members of Paat Shargh Govashir technology group who had ties with foreign media and were preparing technical service for anti-government websites, Fars news agency reported.
He added that the verdict is not final and can be appealed.
Movahhed noted that the “defendants have “confessed” their guilt.
The mentioned Paat Shargh Govashir company owns Narenji, which was publishing tech news.
Eight Narenji bloggers, along with another eight cyber activists, were arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in last December, accused of cooperation with Western news networks, designing and updating websites educating citizen reporters and cooperation with opposition websites.
Self photography is becoming more popular in Iran and whilst some relish the opportunity of being seen on the Internet, others worry this contributes to the culture of narcissism.
Since the average Iranian must pay at least two monthly wages to acquire a smart phone, the phenomenon is limited mostly to middle and upper-class youths, who have taken to the fashion.
Edit software like Photoshop is cheap and popular in Iran due to an absence of copyright laws and many Iranians alter their selfies before they post them online. While it is difficult to count the exact number of selfies on Iranian social networks, but users say they make the majority of postings on Instagram. According to cafebazaar, an alternative platform that 85% Iranians use to download apps, the social app has over one million users in Iran, while an estimated 82% of these Instagram users are men, the users in this article said women post more selfies than men.
My Stealthy Freedom Facebook page invites Iranian women to share their views on hijab and this controversy illustrates the attitudes of these women as well as the inflexibility of the Islamic regime.
When the page attracted nearly half a million likes and hundreds of hijab-free selfies, Iran’s government media started a campaign against the page’s founder Masih Alinejad in London and called her a whore and claimed that she was drugged and gang-raped in front of her son. The fear of losing cultural control over Iran’s population especially women and youth, is also behind an effort by the country’s hardline political spheres to block Instagram, which a 27 May court order added to the government list of banned web sites.