Who is Sahar Tabar? Angelina Jolie 'Zombie' lookalike jailed for 10 years for 'promoting moral corruption'
Tabar, 19, was arrested in October 2019 after gaining followers for her edited pictures that made her look like a zombie Angelina Jolie. Charges leveled against her include blasphemy and encouraging corruption in youth
Sahar Tabar, real name Fatemeh Khishvand from Tehran, Iran, has been jailed for a decade. The 19-year-old was arrested last year in October over her social media activities. She shot to fame, almost celebrity level prominence, after posting images of her unnaturally cadaverous face. Also known as the 'Zombie Angelina Jolie' the Instagram star now will spend the next decade behind bars, her lawyer confirmed. Her images where she appeared to be a zombie-Angelina Jolie lookalike helped her gain almost 486,000 followers on the photo-sharing platform. Her page no longer exists, however, there are a number of fan pages that have reshared her posts. As Tabar continued to create an online presence for herself, a lot of people took it as a joke, some assimilating it as rhetoric. However, police arrested her and three other female Instagram influencers on October 5, 2019.
Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad is known to use her voice to call out the discrepancies of the government on social media as well as bring to light the unjust arrests and executions being ordered and carried out in the country. She has once again spoken out to bring attention to Tabar's case via her Twitter handle in a series of tweets. "I call on international media to write about this horrifying story. This girl was only 18 when she got arrested in Iran. Another girl Saba Kordafshari was only 19, Yasaman Aryani was 20 and now all of them are in jail for the crime of 'Promoting moral corruption'! Be our voice," read one of her tweets.
"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. The Islamic Republic has a history of tormenting women. We need to be united against this gender apartheid," she wrote in another tweet. "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. Her mother cries every day to get her innocent daughter freed. Dear Angelina Jolie! we need your voice here. Help us," she wrote in a separate tweet.
I call on international media to write about this horrifying story.— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) December 11, 2020
This girl was only 18 when she got arrested in Iran.
Another girl Saba Kordafshari was only 19, Yasaman Aryani was 20 and now all of them are in jail for the crime of “Promoting moral corruption”!
Be our voice. pic.twitter.com/7iDzhLiCDE
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
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
There are a number of charges leveled against the teenage star who went viral on social media. These include blasphemy, inciting violence, gaining income through inappropriate means, and encouraging corruption in youth, according to Tasnim News Agency's report. She was detained on the orders of Tehran's guidance court, which deals with "cultural crimes and social and moral corruption".
Tabar shot to fame in 2017, after reports surfaced claiming that she had 50 surgeries to achieve the Jolie look. She later confirmed that it was achieved mostly through makeup and editing in a pre-trial TV interview. She told the interviewer at the time that she looked very different in real life as opposed to what's projected in her photos shared on social media. She had also said that it was her childhood dream to attain fame and she turned to Instagram to do so, against the will of her mother who very strongly objected the same.
July 2019 was when she shared a pre and post-surgery side-by-side snapshot of herself and admitted to having some work done including a nose job, lip fillers, and liposuction. However, she insisted that her creepy appearance was courtesy of makeup and editing. She said, "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."
The cosmetic surgery industry is booming in the Islamic republic with thousands of operations taking place in a year, according to Daily Mail. Instagram is the only major social media service accessible in Iran while Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram are banned officially. In April this year, Tabar had reportedly contracted COVID-19. The US-based Center for Human Rights in Iran said at the time that she was denied bail despite the virus being widespread in the country's prisons.