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Customers taking a selfie at the restaurant-jail

Iran 'jail restaurant' aims to free bad debt inmates

Two Iranian ex-prisoners have opened a successful "jail restaurant" to help raise funds to free convicts languishing behind bars for unpaid debts. A storefront picture of their "Cell 16" diner in eastern Tehran shows a frustrated prisoner holding a chicken leg in one hand and trying with the other to bend the bars of his cell to escape.

With the help of social media, the business has been a success, having first opened in 2016 with just seven "cell" tables. It has expanded to two more eateries, in Tehran and the central city of Isfahan.