Iran jails 'Zombie Angelina Jolie' Instagram star for a decade

By: News Desk      Published: 09:32 PM, 12 Dec, 2020
Iran jails 'Zombie Angelina Jolie' Instagram star for a decade

Iran has jailed 'Zombie Angelina Jolie' Instagram star for a decade, her lawyer has said, a year after she was arrested over her social media activities.

Sahar Tabar, 19, whose real name is Fatemeh Khishvand, from Tehran, shot to prominence after posting images of her eerily gaunt face. Her images - which made her appear to be a zombie-Angelina Jolie lookalike - gathered her 486,000 followers. Many saw the stunt as a joke or as social commentary, but on October 5 2019, Sahar was arrested in Iran, along with three other female Instagram influencers.  

An Iranian Journalist Masih Alinejad shared the news on Twitter, writing: '10 years jail for Iranian Instagramer who used makeup & Photoshop to become a zombie Angelina Jolie.

“Sahar Tabar is only 19. Her joke landed her in jail,” she wrote. “Her mother cries every day to get her innocent daughter freed. Dear Angelina Jolie! we need your voice here. Help us.”

Charges against Tabar first included blasphemy, inciting violence, gaining income through inappropriate means and encouraging youths to corruption, Tasnim news agency reported at the time of her arrest.

She was detained on the orders of Tehran's guidance court, which deals with 'cultural crimes and social and moral corruption'.  At the time, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Channel 3 (IRIB TV3) said that Tabar was facing between three months and two years in prison.

The social media star shot to fame in 2017 after she reportedly had 50 surgeries to make her look like the Oscar-winning actress Ms Jolie. She later confirmed her look mostly was achieved through make-up and editing in a pre-trial television interview in which appeared as a 'zombie', with her face mostly blurred out.

She told the interviewer that she did not look like her Instagram pictures because they were heavily edited in Photoshop. Tabar also said that it had been her childhood dream to become famous, and that she had persisted with her efforts to build her Instagram following despite her mother's objections.