Mahlagha Jaberi, an Iranian-born model, arrived at the Cannes Film Festival sporting a dress that resembled a noose in an effort to draw attention to the horrifying executions occurring in Iran. Jila Saber was the designer of the garment.
The overall message of her dress, ‘Stop Executions,’ calls for the abolition of executions in Iran. Her post, along with her appearance at the festival, created a lot of buzz on social media.
“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,” Mahlagha Jaberi Instagram said.
While many praised Mahlagha Jaberi’s efforts, others criticized her attire as well as the message she was attempting to convey:
As innocent Iranians are being executed, @MahlaghaJaberi thought it would be a good idea to wear a dress that has a noose sown into it and then film a seductive video using a song that has become an anthem for protestors.— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) May 29, 2023
Absolutely disgraceful all around.
And then to end the… pic.twitter.com/0gbbxk3GP5
Human rights organizations like Amnesty International have noted that Iran has one of the highest rates of executions worldwide, second only to China. Public executions are relatively rare, though; most hangings happen inside prisons.
Iran has executed more than 500 people in 2022, the highest number in the previous five years, according to a report published earlier in December by the human rights organization Iran Human Rights, based in Norway.
In the 2021 report, there were 278 executions in total, and 83.5% of them were carried out without official announcement. According to the report, there were at least 183 murder-related executions (or 55% of all executions).
The Iran Human Rights (IHR) organization reports that 278 people have been put to death in Iran so far this year.