Iranian model Mahlagha Jaberi wore a dress with a noose-like loop around her neck as she walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival, a fashion protest against the high number of executions in her home country.
Jaberi, 33, who now lives in Los Angeles, explained in an Instagram post Tuesday that she wanted to raise awareness about death sentences carried out by the Tehran regime.
The dress, from designer Jila Atelier, had the slogan “Stop Executions” on the back of its train but security guards made Jaberi cover that up when she arrived at the 76th edition of the film festival on Friday.
“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,” she wrote. “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.”
“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,” Jaberi said in another post. “Every small step counts towards eliminating injustice.”
I love @MahlaghaJaberi for using her platform effectively & with her simple yet symbolic dress made a stand against executions in Iran…
I stand with her… pic.twitter.com/TX7AeecBgg
— CALI (@CALI4AZ) May 28, 2023
Ahead of the festival, she posted to Instagram a video of herself wearing the dress with the message “Dedicated to the people of Iran.”
Jabari’s dress was widely shared on social media with some condemning her protest as being in poor taste and others backing it.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs, shared a photo of Jabari on his Twitter account, writing, “Another brave woman. Maybe if women were the majority in politics, there would be no more wars? What do you think?”
Iranian-born model Mahlagha Jaberi arrived to Cannes Film Festival wearing a dress that resembled a noose – to draw attention to awful executions taking place in Iran.
More than 200 people were executed in Iran this year alone.
Another brave woman. Maybe if women were the… pic.twitter.com/K3znZya8o0
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) May 28, 2023
Iran executes more people annually than any nation other than China, according to rights groups including Amnesty International. It also sometimes conducts public hangings.
According to the Norway-based Iran Human Rights, 278 people have been executed this year, with several of them hanged for their involvement in the nationwide protests that erupted after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old who had been detained by the morality police, which enforces strict codes on women’s dress.