Living in the United States, it’s easy to take our freedom for granted. This article is a reminder of just have difficult it can be in other countries.
In Iran, tattoos were long considered only fit for criminals. But in the past few years, they have become popular with the younger generation, which has abandoned the Persian word “khalkoobi” for the western term “tattoo”. However, Iran’s thriving tattoo scene remains underground.
While there is no specific law against tattoos, the Iranian authorities use Islamic law to denounce it, as they do with many other trends considered too “Western”. When they arrest criminals and parade them in public – a common practice in Iran – they sometimes show off men’s tattoos as “proof” of their guilt. Meanwhile, athletes are forced to hide theirs under band-aids during competitions.