Sahar Tabar, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, has received a 10-year prison sentence – all because she shared images of herself across social media. Tabar, whose real name is Fatemeh Khishvand, rose to fame after she posted images of herself where many referred to her as a zombie version of Angelina Jolie and even an animated character known as Corpse Bride.
She was arrested in 2019 for making money through “inappropriate means,” accused of encouraging youth towards blasphemy by means of her now deactivated Instagram account where she had nearly half a million followers.
Sahar Tabar was detained on the orders of Tehran’s guidance court, which deals with “cultural crimes and social and moral corruption.”
“This is photoshop and makeup. Every time I publish a photo, I paint my face in an increasingly funny way. It is a way of expressing yourself, a kind of art. My fans know that this is not my real face,” said Tabar, speaking to the media about her close resemblance to a certain distorted version of Angelina Jolie.
But then, Tabar’s confession, released by the Iranian government, which was broadcasted on the state-run TV outlet, stated that she grew addicted to social media fame, and that “vulgarity on social media gets a lot of clicks.”
It is worth noting that the UK based human rights NGO Amnesty International has time and again asked the Iranian government to stop broadcasting such confession videos as they “violate the defendants’ rights.”
When the COVID-19 outbreak was at its peak and nearly 100,000 prisoners were released by the Iranian government, Tabar was still kept in prison. Even when she contracted the coronavirus and allegedly had to be kept on a ventilator, and her lawyers urged for her release, she wasn’t granted any relaxation from the Iranian government.
Based on what AFP, an international news agency reported, it is revealed that Tabar was arrested as “numerous public requests” have compelled the Islamic guidance court of Tehran to take action against her.
Masih Alinejad, a journalist from Iran, tweeted to Angelina Jolie, asking her to intervene and help get Tabar released from jail. He said that Tabar’s mother cried every day and that “the Islamic Republic has a history of tormenting women.”