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Italian Food Blogger Alessia Piperno Now Jailed as Iran’s Cops Go Crackdown Crazy


ROME — There’s a jarring silence inside the independent bookstore owned by Alberto and Miriam Piperno in central south Rome, and it doesn’t allow shoppers to browse. The couple’s 30-year-old daughter Alessia, a renowned travel and food blogger and a digital nomad who has spent the past seven years exploring the world, is in a prison in Tehran and her parents were asked by the Italian Foreign Ministry to avoid reporters.

Before they fell silent, Alberto posted a plea for help on Facebook along with a recent photo of his daughter. Posted from Tehran, where she spent almost three months. “This girl is Alessia Piperno, and she is my daughter,” he wrote Sunday on the now-deleted Facebook post. “Received the phone this morning. It was her crying that let us know that she was in prison… She was arrested by the police along with her friends when she celebrated her birth. There were few words but they were desperate. She was asking for help.”

Several foreigners have been arrested in the crackdown on protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who died September 13 while in the custody of Iran’s notorious ethics police. Before his arrest, Piperno posted about the protests, evoking the struggle of the Italian Partisan protest song Bella Ciao, against the Fascist regime at the end of the Second World War. “The 22-year-old girl was killed by the Iranian police for not wearing the hijab properly,” she wrote in mid-September. “The truth is that the girl could have been me, or my friend Hanieh, or one of the women. female I met on this trip. Hijab in Iran is not synonymous with religion, it is synonymous with government”. She went on to write, “Every woman must strip away her femininity, conceal her facial features and body shape, so as not to risk ending up in prison, or worse, being beaten up. hit 70 times.”

She wrote that while in Iran, “I felt part of it all, I felt part of the girls who fought for their rights, who protested for their freedom, but in the end they forced have to hide in a blind spot.”

Alberto Piperno writes that his daughter told him they were not told why they were arrested, but nine others were arrested along with her. “I am fine, but here are people who say they have been in the house for months for no reason at all,” she told her father, according to his post. “I’m afraid I won’t get out, help me.”

This blogger’s last Instagram post shows her birthday party looking like a private home in Tehran. The five women in the photo don’t have their heads covered. Piperno wrote, “These years were the best time of my life, the most lived time, where I learned and expanded a lot, where I met great friends and friends. as well as where I discovered the true beauty of our planet. The world and the people here have given me more than I could ever ask for, day after day, year after year.”

A few hours later, she was in prison.

Piperno has spent the past seven years traveling the world, according to her various blogs. She started traveling full time in 2016 backpacking through Australia and has since traveled through much of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. She posted that she had difficulty securing a visa to stay in Iran, but did not specify whether she was there illegally in a post after her first arrival. She wrote that she plans to return to Pakistan, where she was before traveling to Iran. Her intention was to help rebuild after the terrible flood.

She’s part of a group called digital nomads, who support their travels through grants and telecommuting. She has over 42,000 followers on Instagram, this is her main outlet where she often posts from bazaars and markets to describe food and culture to her followers.

Her previous posts showed her at various markets and mosques in Iran. Many videos show her cultural awareness, such as the legal way to wrap your hair. She didn’t post any pictures of the protests, but she did write about them. “I don’t think I’ll ever forget that first night,” she posted days after the protests began. “We ran to the dorms with our hearts in our throats, as gunshots went off behind us and the smell of gasoline wafted through the air… The chaos, which before that day, I don’t know what it’s really like. to be. I closed the hostel door when people were screaming in the street.”

The Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed her arrest to The Daily Beast, but did not specify what action was being taken to secure her freedom. Many of her posts have been marked with scathing criticism in the comments for why she’s in Iran in the first place, with some posting saying she deserves it. . “We Europeans know nothing of these people, the news that reaches us is edited, and we are so used to marching like puppets, believing everything we are told. ,” she wrote a week ago. “But here, people are tired of being a puppet, that’s why thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest. They are protesting for their freedom. Women, men, teenagers and the elderly. And each of them, each risking his or her own life on the street.”

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