Iranian soccer participant wore ‘SpongeBob pants.’ Now he’s banned from enjoying for Iran’s nationwide workforce

An Iranian soccer participant has been banned for six months from enjoying for Iran’s nationwide workforce after photographs surfaced on-line final month exhibiting him sporting yellow “SpongeBob pants,” based on the Iranian College students’ Information Company.

The pictures present Sosha Makani, a former goalkeeper for Iran’s Persepolis Soccer Membership, sporting a blue shirt and tight yellow trousers that Iranian media described as resembling the SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon character.

Behrouz Mehri / AFP by way of Getty Pictures

The Iranian soccer federation’s morality committee cited Makani’s clothes as “inappropriate” and the trigger for his suspension. Nevertheless, the choice isn’t remaining, and Makani can enchantment by an Appeals Committee.

This isn’t the primary time that the 29-year-old has gotten in hassle for his social media presence. In January, Makani was arrested and despatched to Evin jail after pictures of him with varied ladies appeared on social media.

Iranian authorized skilled Hossein Raeesi instructed the Worldwide Marketing campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the explanation for his arrest has to do with Iran’s cybercrime legal guidelines:

“The regulation concerning Web crimes says if somebody straight posts indecent photographs of himself or others on-line, then against the law has been dedicated. However given his lawyer’s statements [regarding the hacking of Makani’s account] and the truth that he’s a well-known individual, I doubt he posted the photographs himself.”

In response to Article 17 of Iran’s cybercrime regulation:

“Any one that publishes non-public or household photographs or movies of others by the Web with out their permission, in such a manner that causes them hurt or disrepute, can be punishable from 91 days to 2 years in jail or fined from 5 million rials [about $168] to 40 million rials [about $1,340] or each.”

Over the previous few months, an rising variety of Iranians have gotten in hassle for his or her on-line presence. Celebrities and well-known athletes are sometimes the targets. Tehran’s prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi, warned athletes and artists in January in opposition to posting “anti-Islamic” photographs on social media.

It appears his warnings had been reliable. Only a few weeks in the past, hard-liners criticized a well-liked Iranian actress, whose most up-to-date film gained two awards on the Cannes Movie Pageant, after photographs of her appeared to point out a feminist tattoo on her arm. And in Could, Iranian fashions had been arrested for posting footage of themselves on Instagram with out headscarves. The arrests had been a part of a sting operation, which Iranian officers code-named “Spider 2,” aimed toward individuals within the style business.

Some activists and analysts say this crackdown has lots to do with hard-liners in authorities who need to reassert their affect after moderates and reformists united to win a majority of seats in Iran’s parliamentary elections in February.

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