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An Iranian model wears noose attire to Cannes to draw attention to the country’s executions.

Mahlagha Jaberi made a strong speech condemning the use of capital punishment in Iran.


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The attendees of the Cannes Film Festival, who have used the event to promote a particular cause, have once more captured the world’s attention. Mahlagha Jaberi, an Iranian model, attended in order to make a statement against the country’s execution practices.

Jaberi wore an eye-catching black bodycon dress by Jila Sabre, which included statement writing on the skirt and straps that mimicked a noose around her neck. On the red carpet, she made waves because the clothing she was wearing read, “Stop executions.” Jaberi dedicated a video montage of herself wearing the suit to the people of Iran and thanked the outfit’s designer, videographer, and management.

The model also posted photos of herself wearing the garment online. In the caption, Jaberi thanked her team and explained that they had “made a fashion statement to observe the glamour of Cannes, but more importantly to bring media attention to the wrongful executions of Iranian people.” The security guards prevented me from revealing the back of my dress because doing so would have been a political statement, but the ‘noose’ reference was nonetheless recognized.

The purpose of the model was to draw attention to the disturbing increase in executions in Iran this year, which is a major cause for concern among human rights activists around the world. Over 500 people were executed in Iran in 2022, the highest number in five years, according to a report by Iran Human Rights.

At least 333 people were executed in Iran in 2021; however, only 16.5 per cent of those deaths were reported by the government. Shockingly, officials did not report on 278 of the total 283 executions (83.5%). The survey found that a striking percentage of executions (38%) were associated with drug offenses, while 55% were on murder charges. Notably, official sources did not disclose any drug-related executions.

According to Amnesty International, in 2022, “the use of the death penalty increased and public executions resumed.” Moreover, the website claims, “Two young men were arbitrarily executed in relation to the nationwide uprising after sham trials and without advance notice to their families, while scores of others were under the sentence of death or remained on trial for overly broad capital charges.”

“Executions increased from the previous year, and public executions resumed after a two-year hiatus,” Amnesty International reported. The death sentence was employed as a method of political repression by the government against political dissidents, protestors, and members of minority groups. Many of those killed belonged to the marginalized Baluchi ethnic group. Several juvenile offenders have been put to death, while many others who were under 18 at the time of their crimes are still there.

Concerning a lack of accountability, the organization stated, “No public official was investigated or held accountable for extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings, torture, enforced disappearance, and other grave human rights violations committed in 2022 or previous years.”

As Jaberi pointed out in his powerful speech at the Cannes Film Festival, the human rights situation in Iran is extremely concerning. Because of the model’s brave action, human rights activists and concerned citizens all around the world were galvanized to demand an end to capital punishment in the country.

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