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Shaking Hands in Iran

"This month the PEN American Center criticized lengthy prison terms given [in Iran] to two poets, Fatemeh Ekhtesari and Mehdi Musavi, on charges that included “insulting the sacred” and “propaganda against the state.” They were also sentenced to 99 lashes each for shaking hands with unrelated members of the opposite sex, deemed to be a crime just short of adultery."
- Rick Gladstone, U.N. Rights Investigator Highly Critical of Iran, New York Times, Oct. 27, 2015


"An Iranian artist currently serving more than 12 years in prison for criticising the government now faces further charges of “indecency” for allegedly shaking her male lawyer’s hand. Amnesty International reports that Atena Farghadani, 29, who was jailed after she depicted Iranian government officials as monkeys and goats in a satirical cartoon, may face a longer sentence amid claims over the handshake. Charges of an “illegitimate sexual relationship short of adultery” have been brought against Farghadani and her lawyer Mohammad Moghimi amid allegations he visited her in jail and shook her hand - which is illegal in Iran. ... A statement from Amnesty reads: “Atena's lawyer, Mohammad Moghimi, visited Atena in prison after her trial and shook her hand. The handshake led to charges of an 'illegitimate sexual relationship short of adultery' and 'indecent conduct' being brought against both Atena and Moghimi, who will be tried for those charges in due course.”"
- Matilda Battersby, Female cartoonist could have 12 year prison term extended for shaking her lawyer's hand, The Independent, Sept. 9, 2015


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