Sosha Makani, goalkeeper for Iranian team Persepolis and member of Iran’s national team, was arrested last week for allegedly breaking Iranian cyber laws. Specifically, for posing in largely innocuous photos that the country’s authorities have deemed indecent.
According to an article on the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran’s website, Makani’s defense to the allegations are that he personally did not post the photos. His lawyer claims that Makani’s phone and social media profiles were hacked and that whoever illicitly acquired the pictures is the one who put them online. Makani has subsequently deleted all pictures from his Instagram account.
Whether Makani posted the photos himself is an important aspect the the law he’s been arrested under, as the Human Rights in Iran’s article points out:
“The law regarding Internet crimes says if someone directly posts indecent photos of himself or others online, then a crime has been committed. But given his lawyer’s statements [regarding the hacking of Makani’s account] and the fact that he is a famous person, I doubt he posted the photos himself,” [legal expert Hossein Raeesi] said.
The article later reproduces the law itself:
According to Article 17 of the cyber crimes law, “Any person who publishes private or family photos or videos of others through the Internet without their permission, in such a way that causes them harm or disrepute, will be punishable from 91 days to two years in prison or fined from five million rials (about $168) to 40 million rials (about $1340) or both.”
After being arrested on January 3rd, BBC Persian reports that Makani was released on bail today and attended practice with his team. The investigation appears to still be ongoing. This is ridiculous.