Iranian actress Leila Hatami, star of Oscar-winning film “A Separation,” is causing a stir in her home country after publicly kissing Cannes president Gilles Jacob.
Unrelated men and women, according to Iran’s strict Islamic regime, are not allowed to touch or kiss in public.
The kiss, a simple peck on the cheek, took place at the world premiere of “Grace of Monaco” last Wednesday, May 14. It was also the opening night of the Cannes Film Festival in France.
Hizbullah Students, a group of university students linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, have since filed a complaint over the incident.
She must be flogged for “kissing a strange man,” they said in the petition.
The petition adds, “We, the undersigned, who are a group of student Muslim brothers and sisters, ask the cultural and media branch of the judiciary to prosecute Leila Hatami for her sinful act of kissing a strange man in public, which according to article 638 of Islamic Criminal Justice carries a prison sentence.”
Adding, “Furthermore, the action of this film star has hurt the religious sentiments of the proud and martyrs breeding nation of Iran and as such we also demand the punishment of flogging for her as stipulated in the law.”
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Hatami is the daughter of popular Iranian director Ali Hatami and is married with two children.
Her reps could not be reached for comment on this story.