An Iranian court has sentenced an actress to 90 lashes for her role in a film portraying social alienation, drug use, and political oppression in Iran. In the film, Marzieh Vafamehr appears with a shaved head and no headscarf; she also explores issues of cultural oppression in Iran.
The film is called My Tehran for Sale, and its leading actress Marzieh Vafamehr was arrested in July and received her sentence this past weekend.
This is not the first time Iran’s justice system has provoked controversy. Last year for example, Iranian courts approved a, “death-by-stoning” sentence for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani , a woman accused of adultery.
Her sentence was stayed, but only after a global outcry from international human-rights groups. In 2005 two gay teenagers were stoned to death after being outed, and two gay men received the same sentence later that same year.
There are movements within Iran to reform its legal system, but these are small, grass route campaigns and are normally met with harsh governmental penalties once identified.