Iranian teenager, who posted distorted pictures of herself, imprisoned for 10 years

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An Iranian woman, who had posted heavily distorted images of herself online, has been sentenced to ten years in prison, a year after she was arrested over her social media activities, reported the Guardian.

The 19-year-old Sahar Tabar, whose real name was identified as Fatemeh Khishvand by the newspaper, came to prominence after posting images of herself with a gaunt, zombie-like face. She was charged with corruption of young people and disrespect for the Islamic Republic. In spring she pleaded for release from detention, saying she had contracted COVID-19.

The charges against Tabar first included blasphemy, inciting violence, gaining income through inappropriate means, and encouraging youths to corruption. She said she had been cleared of two of the four charges against her, but did not want to comment further because she was still hoping for a pardon.

Iranian state TV broadcast her confession in late October last year. Her expressions of remorse drew a great deal of sympathy. The report described Tabar as “a victim with an abnormal personality and mental state” who sought “vulgarity” on social media.

Medical records also suggested that she had a mental illness, with a history of visits to psychiatric hospitals, making the 10-year sentence even less explicable. Her lawyers had asked for her to be bailed, and pointed to her age at the time she committed the alleged offences.

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