An Iranian actress who received a quick peck on the cheek while attending the Cannes Film Festival could face a public flogging for violating Islamic law.
Leila Hatami got kissed by festival president Gilles Jacob during a public event, an act which sparked unrest in her homeland.
Hatami, one of her country’s biggest stars who was featured in the critically hailed film A Separation, is under attack from a group with links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
According to the Guards-run Tasnim news website, the Hizbullah Students organisation called for Hatami to be flogged for “kissing a strange man”. The maximum sentence the offence can incur is 50 lashes.
Iran’s Islamic rules stipulate that a man and a woman who are unrelated cannot embrace in public. Moreover a woman should not have her hair on display. The actress had a scarf around her neck but had not covered the crown of her head.