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Tue 05 May 2020:

An Iranian couple known as social media influencers have been sentenced in absentia to a combined 16 years in prison and 74 lashes by the country’s Revolutionary Court system. Ahmad Moin-Shirazi and his wife Shabnam Shahrokhi were given the sentence for “propaganda against the regime”, posting “obscene and vulgar” content and “spreading moral corruption”, according to an Instagram post by Moin-Shirazi a week ago.

Shirazi said in an Instagram post late April that he and his wife have been charged with “propaganda against the regime,” posting “obscene and vulgar” content and “spreading moral corruption.”

Shirazi and his wife Shabnam Shahrokhi are currently in self-exile in Turkey with their two children. The couple left Iran with their children after realizing that the Revolutionary Court was looking to convict them in any way, Shirazi said.

Shirazi, a former kickboxing champion and entrepreneur, has over half a million followers on Instagram. He has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

His wife, Shahrokhi, has been sentenced to seven years in prison, 74 lashes, and three months of unpaid labor.

The couple were informed of their sentences by their lawyer, Shirazi said, adding that he intends to appeal the court’s decision through his lawyer.

The couple had been summoned by the Ministry of Intelligence and interrogated for hours on several occasions, Shirazi said.

He said interrogators demanded him to stop posting critical posts and pictures of his wife without hijab.

The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran said last March that he had asked the country to release all prisoners temporarily, saying that it is “unfortunate and disturbing” to have political prisoners detained amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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