Iranian model wears ‘noose’ dress at Cannes festival to protest executions at home

Mahlagha Jaberi says outfit aimed to raise awareness of the ‘heinous crime of executing innocent people’ carried out by Tehran regime

Model Mahlagha Jaberi arrives for the screening of the film "The Old Oak" during the 76th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 26, 2023. (Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP)
Model Mahlagha Jaberi arrives for the screening of the film "The Old Oak" during the 76th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 26, 2023. (Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP)

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.”

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?”

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.

Most Popular
read more: