Iranian Actress Faces Public Flogging

Award-winning Iranian actress Leila Hatami has been reported to her country’s courts for a public flogging for violating Islamic laws after kissing Gilles Jacob, president of the Cannes Film Festival, on the cheek. According to the website run by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the punishment for “kissing a strange man” carries a maximum sentence of 50 lashes. According to Iran’s Islamic law, unrelated men and women cannot embrace in public. In asking for more than jail time, student activists declared, “the action of this film star has hurt the religious sentiments of the proud and martyrs breeding nation of Iran and as such we also demand the punishment of flogging for her as stipulated in the law.” Meanwhile, conservative media in Iran has said the kiss “was an affront to the chastity of women in Iran.”