An Iranian model appeared at the 76th annual Cannes International Film Festival in France wearing a dress with a noose around her neck to raise awareness about her country’s death penalty.
According to Fox News, Iranian-American Mahlaga Jaberi, 33먹튀검증, appeared at the Palais des Festivals, the main venue of the Cannes Film Festival, on Sept. 26 wearing a dress with a noose at the neck that resembled a hangman’s noose.
On the back of the dress were the words STOP EXECUTION.
After the festival, Jaberi posted a 30-second video on her Instagram that she said was “dedicated to the people of Iran.”
The video ends with Jaberi, dressed in a lassoed dress, looking into the camera and stroking her neck, or closing her eyes and holding her head in her hands. The song playing in the video is reportedly a song in support of anti-government protests in Iran.
The video and Jaberi’s outfit went viral on social media, sparking controversy over her behavior in the dress at a film festival watched around the world.
Iranian-American model Mahlaga Jaberi, 33, wore a “noose dress” to raise awareness about the death penalty in Iran at the 76th Cannes Film Festival on Nov. 26 (local time). Photo by Mahlaga Jaberi on Instagram
Anton Geraschenko, an advisor to Ukraine’s interior minister, praised Zaveri’s actions as brave, saying, “This year alone, more than 200 people have been executed in Iran. If women were the majority in politics, there would be no more wars.”
Michael Doran, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a U.S. think tank, agreed: “It was an eye-catching protest at the festival, and her dress brought attention to the issue of brutal executions in Iran.”
Meanwhile, American left-wing journalist Yashar Ali called Jaberi’s behavior “disgraceful”.
“If she thought wearing a noose dress and filming that video would help bring attention to the execution of innocent Iranians, she should be ashamed of herself,” he said, noting that “ending the video with the caption ‘Stop the executions’ without any explanation is not helpful.”
“I wore the dress to draw media attention to the unjust executions that Iranians face,” Jaberi wrote on Instagram later that day, adding, “Unfortunately, I couldn’t show the back of the dress because political speech is banned at film festivals, but the meaning of the noose was well conveyed.”
Iran, meanwhile, has one of the highest execution rates in the world.
According to Amnesty International’s latest annual State of the Death Penalty report, 576 of the 883 executions carried out in 20 countries around the world last year were in Iran. The statistics do not include China, North Korea, and Vietnam, which do not release data on executions.