An Iranian model couple has fled to Dubai to escape prosecution in their own country as a result of a crackdown on models posting “un-Islamic” photographs online. The couple reportedly left Iran in January following a major clampdown on 170 targets as part of the “Spider 2″ operations.
Professional model and make-up artist Elnaz Golrokh and her husband and model Hamid Fadaei were among several others who promote themselves on Instagram. In January, a crackdown on the models posting images not approved by the authorities led to their arrests. Other leading models who were issued arrests were Melikaa Zamani, Donya Moghadam, Niloofar Behboudi, Shabnam Molavi, and Dana Nik.
The women posted images of themselves without a hijab or head scarf on Instagram and other social media sites. But the Spider 2 operations launched two years ago under Iranian President Hassan Rouhani targeted only those in the fashion industry.
Golrokh and Fadaei fled to Dubai shortly after the crackdown began in January, the Telegraph.co.uk reported. The Instagram images of the Iranian model couple suggested that in Dubai, the couple, who are currently released on bail, continue to lead their celebrity life, attending award ceremonies and endorsing different products.
“Before anything else, I am sorry that during this time I have not been able to return the calls made by you dear friends. Unfortunately, for the moment I will not be active in Iran, but I will continue my work outside Iran. Thanks for your support and your positive energy. I love you,” Golrokh reportedly said in a message to her fans on social media.
Fadaei is one of the most renowned models in Iran and is the face of Paris fragrance Robert Vizzari, Cameron Zigal, an Iranian haute couture company, and also Fidal, the Iranian sports label.