A court in Tehran has sentenced two Chinese nationals to lashes, prison terms, and a cash fine for posting videos of intimate chats with Iranian women on various social media platforms without their consent, their attorney Mehdi Azizzadeh told the state broadcaster’s Young Journalists Club (YJC) Monday.

Calling the sentencing “harsh,” Azizzadeh said five women had sued the two men. He did not elaborate on the charges, not give details of the sentences, but said there was a possibility of appeal.

One of the two men was arrested by Iranian police and intelligence forces on a highway near Kashan, some 160 km (100 miles) south of Tehran June 1. He was shown in a television report that suggested his posts, including on a Chinese platform, had “hurt the feelings” of the public. IRIB said the women concerned had pressed charges against the man, although he was not named and it was not reported why or how long he had been in Iran.

Alongside other jurisdictions with conservative cultural regulations, Iran has struggled with the explosion of dating apps and other forms of social-media messaging that can easily spread images deemed to infringe ethical codes. Both the Moral Police and Cyber Police in Iran are charged with identifying transgressions.

Source » trackpersia