Iranian-American model Mahlagha Jaberi wore a noose-styled dress at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival in protest against executions in Iran.
Jaberi wore a black dress that had a noose as collar. She said she wore the noose collar to draw attention to executions in Iran. Noose was a symbol for executions by hanging people till death.
Iran is infamous for executing people after opaque trials for charges ranging from terrorism to blasphemy. The country has often been flagged by human rights organisations for violating basic human rights. Such executions have come under renewed attention since widespread nationwide protests began in September last year after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini's death in the custody of morality police.
This year, 295 people have been executed in Iran, according to non-profit Iran Human Rights (IRH). Three protesters held last year for protesting after Amini's death were executed earlier this month.
Wore the noose to draw attention to Iran executions: Mahlagha Jaberi
Iranian-American model Mahlagha Jaberi said she wore the noose to "to bring media attention to the wrongful executions of Iranian people".
Jaberi said that she was not allowed to make a political statement at the Cannes Film Festival, so she could not show the back of the dress, but the noose was enough to drive the message across to the world.
"We wanted to make a fashion statement to observe the glamour of Cannes, but more importantly, to bring media attention to the wrongful executions of Iranian people. Unfortunately, political statements are not allowed at the film festival and the security stopped me from showing the back of my dress, but the 'noose' meaning was well understood," said Jaberi in a post on Instagram.
Jaberi's dress was from fashion designer Jila Saber.
Saber said that her making the dress was a "a small role in fighting against the heinous crime of" executions in Iran.
"We tried to play a small role in fighting against the heinous crime of executing innocent people in Iran by sending out the message in Cannes Festival. Every small step counts towards eliminating injustice," said Saber in a post on Instagram.
Who is Mahlagha Jaberi?
Mahlagha Jaberi is one of the most well-known models of Iranian descent, according to Persian-language Pol Magazine.
In an interview to the magazine, Jaberi said she left Iran at the age of 19 in 2009.
Jaberi lives in Los Angeles, California, in the United States.
"Her hobbies include horse riding and yoga, and she has studied physics, mathematics and business," says Mode Lifestyle Magazine.
On her Instagram profile, Jaberi has written "Women. Life. Freedom." in her bio, which is the slogan used in Iranian protests.
Among Indians, photographs of Jaberi have at times gone viral as she looked similar to actor Aishwarya Rai.
Prominent Iranians making statements
Mahlagha Jaberi is the latest prominent Iranian to make a statement against the Iranian regime since protests broke out in Iran last year.
In September, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in the custody of morality police after she was detained over allegedly violating the hijab rule. She was out with her brother at the time she was detained. Following her death, Iran was rocked by intense nationwide protests in which women took off their hijabs, burnt them publicly, and cut their hair publicly in defiance of the Iranian regime.
The Islamic clergy ruling Iran governs the country with a strict interpretation of Islamic law called sharia. The hijab rule came into force after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran in which the liberal, pro-Western Iranian monarchy was overthrown and was replaced by Islamic clergy.
Several prominent Iranian women have since made defiant statements at world stage.
Chess player Sara Khadem
Iranian chess player Sara Khadem moved to Europe after she competed in Kazakhstan without wearing hijab in protest and received threats.
Reuters reported, "The source, who did not want to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, said Khadem subsequently received multiple phone calls in which individuals warned her against returning home after the tournament, while others said she should come back, promising to ‘solve her problem’.The source also said Khadem's relatives and parents, who are in Iran, had also received threats, without giving further details."
Iran chessmaster Sara Khadem al Sharieh defies clerical regime competing without mandatory Islamic veil at World Chess Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan pic.twitter.com/bz3SuUTmpZ— Borzou Daragahi 🖊🗒 (@borzou) December 27, 2022
Climber Elnaz Rekabi
Iranian competitive climber Elnaz Rekabi competed without hijab in South Korea.
While Rekabi received a hero's welcome on her return to Iran at first, she later went missing and the regime demolished her family home.
In a historic move, Iranian athlete Elnaz Rekabi who represented Iran at the Asian Climbing Competitions finals in Seoul, competed without hijab, disobeying the Islamic Republic's restrictions for female athletes. pic.twitter.com/KvxE5NoQLi— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) October 16, 2022
In November, an Iranian basketball team shared a photo without hijab with a caption “Women, Life, Freedom”. The slogan is central to the ongoing protests since Amini’s death.
In a bold, unprecedented move, players and coaches of Iranian basketball team Canco removed their headscarves for a group photo in defiance of the Islamic Republic's hijab rules, and posted the photo on Instagram with the slogan "Woman, Life, Freedom". pic.twitter.com/LMiumy93mL— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) November 19, 2022
Skater Niloufar Mardani
Iranian skater Niloufar Mardani received an award in Turkey without her hijab. As her photograph became public, the Iranian government condemned her act.
#Iran :Iranian sports ministry has condemned roller speed skater Niloufar Mardani for appearing at a prize ceremony in Turkey without hijab - ministry also said she wasn’t representing Iran national team at event, saying she attended without permission #نیلوفر_مردانی #مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/u2jTKPn2pB— sebastian usher (@sebusher) November 8, 2022