ROME – Alberto and Miriam Piperno’s independent bookshop in south-central Rome is in a deafening silence and shoppers are not to be allowed to browse. The couple’s 30-year-old daughter, Alessia, a well-known travel and food blogger and digital nomad who has spent the last seven years exploring the world, is in a prison in Tehran and her parents were married by Italian State Department instructed to avoid reporters.
Before they were silenced, Alberto posted a plea for help on Facebook with a recent photo posted by his daughter from Tehran, where she had been staying for almost three months. “This girl is Alessia Piperno and she is my daughter,” he wrote on Sunday along with the now-deleted Facebook post. “Got a call this morning. It was her crying that told us she was in prison… She was arrested by the police along with her friends while celebrating her birthday. It was few words, but they were desperate. She asked for help.”
A number of foreigners were arrested in the crackdown on protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who died in custody of Iran’s notorious Morality Police on September 13. Before her arrest, Piperno posted about the protests, recalling the struggle of the Italian partisans’ protest song Bella Ciao, against the fascist regime at the end of World War II. “A 22-year-old girl was killed by Iranian police for improperly wearing the hijab,” she wrote in mid-September. “The truth is, that girl could have been me, or my friend Hanieh, or one of those women I met on this journey. Hijab in Iran is not synonymous with religion, it is synonymous with government.” She continued, “Every woman has to deprive herself of her femininity, hide those beautiful facial features and the shapes of her body in order not to risk ending up in prison or worse Nor being flogged 70 times.”
After being in Iran, she wrote: “I feel a part of everything, I feel a part of these girls who are fighting for their rights, who are demonstrating for their freedom, but are ultimately forced to hide in a blind spot .”
Alberto Piperno wrote that his daughter told him that they had not been told why they had been arrested, but that nine others had been taken into custody with her. “I’m fine, but there are people here who say they’ve been inside for months and for no reason,” she told her father, according to his post. “I’m afraid I can’t get out, help me.”
The blogger’s latest Instagram post showed her birthday celebration at a private home in Tehran. The five women depicted are not wearing headgear. Piperno wrote: “These years were the most beautiful of my life, the most lived, in which I learned and unlearned so much, in which I met wonderful people and friends and in which I discovered the true beauty of our planet. The world and its people have given me more than I could ask for, day after day, year after year.”
Hours later she was in jail.
According to her various blogs, Piperno has spent the last seven years traveling the world. She started backpacking Australia in 2016 and has since traveled much of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. She wrote that she was having trouble getting a visa to stay in Iran, but did not address whether she was illegally employed there after her initial arrival. She wrote that she plans to return to Pakistan, where she stayed before traveling to Iran. Their intention was to help rebuild after the devastating floods.
She was part of a group known as digital nomads, who support their travels through sponsorships and remote work. She had more than 42,000 followers on Instagram, her main outlet, where she would often post from markets and bazaars to describe the food and culture to her followers.
Her previous posts have featured her at various markets and mosques in Iran. Many of her videos showed her cultural awareness as she wraps her hair according to the laws. She hasn’t posted any pictures of the protests, but she has written about them. “I don’t think I’ll ever forget that first night,” she posted a few days after the protests began. “We had run to the hostel, hearts in our throats, when gunshots rang out behind us and the smell of gas wafted in the air… The chaos I didn’t really know before that day was. I closed the hostel door when people were screaming in the streets.”
The Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed their arrest to The Daily Beast, but did not elaborate on what measures were taken to ensure their freedom. Many of her posts were flagged in the comments with harsh criticism as to why she was in Iran in the first place, with a number of people posting that she deserved it. “We Europeans know nothing about these people, the messages that reach us are retouched and we are too used to marching like puppets and believing everything we are told,” she wrote a week ago. “Here, however, people are tired of being puppets, which is why thousands are taking to the streets to protest. They demonstrate for their freedom. women, men, youth and seniors. And every one of them, every single person, is risking their own life by taking to the streets.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/italian-food-blogger-alessia-piperno-now-jailed-as-irans-cops-go-crackdown-crazy?source=articles&via=rss Italian food blogger Alessia Piperno has now been jailed because Iranian police are going nuts