Growing up in Iran, Fatemeh Khishvand dreamed of becoming famous, posting selfies on Instagram in the hope of getting noticed. They were heavily doctored photos in which her face appeared gaunt, distorted, and enhanced by make-up. Posted under a pseudonym, Sahar Tabar, the photos were so striking they attracted international media attention when they first appeared in This led to false rumours that the teen had undergone 50 cosmetic surgeries to look like the Hollywood star but, as she would later clarify, the Corpse Bride character from Tim Burton's titular musical fantasy was her true inspiration. Soon, her alter ego had almost , followers on Instagram, earning her the fame she had always desired. In Iran, it can be dangerous to post on social media.
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After 11 years of stalling, Iran passed a measure on Sunday making it a crime to emotionally or physically abuse or abandon a child, expanding significantly the legal protections offered to children and juveniles. The new law materialized largely in response to nationwide outrage over the killing of a teenage girl last month. Romina Ashrafi, 14, was beheaded by her father with a farming sickle because she had run off with a boyfriend. The so-called honor killing sparked a debate in Iran over the lack of legal protection for women and children, and members of the public questioned why the legislation had remained stagnant in Parliament for 11 years.
So-called honor killing of teen girl brings outcry in Iran
Before he beheaded his year-old daughter with a farming sickle, Reza Ashrafi called a lawyer. His daughter, Romina, was going to dishonor the family by running off with her year-old boyfriend, he said. What kind of punishment, he asked the lawyer, would he get for killing her? Three weeks later, Mr. Ashrafi, a year-old farmer, marched into the bedroom where the girl was sleeping and decapitated her.
Iran has detained a teenager who posted dance videos on her Instagram page , which has more than 40, followers. State TV broadcast a video recently in which Maedeh Hojabri, who is believed to be 18 or 19, acknowledged breaking moral norms while insisting that she wasn't encouraging others to follow her example. Her face was blurred in the video. Iranian state TV has a record of airing confessions that rights activists say have been made under duress. Hojabri had posted dozens of photos and videos on her Instagram account where she is seen dancing to Western pop and rap music.