Iran jails 'Zombie Angelina Jolie' Instagram star for a decade
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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.
10 years jail for Iranian Instagramer who used make up & Photoshop to become a zombie Angelina Jolie.— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) December 11, 2020
Sahar Tabar is only 19. Her joke landed her in jail. Her mother cries every day to get her innocent daughter freed. Dear Angelina Jolie! we need your voice here. Help us. pic.twitter.com/0QTzSv2c5v
“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.”
I call on Angelina Jolie to help an Iranian 19-year-old girl who received 10 years prison sentence for using makeup & Photoshop to turn herself into Angelina.— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) December 11, 2020
Islamic Republic has a history of tormenting women. We need to be united against this gender apartheid pic.twitter.com/Z5Y8yMsY76
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.