Italian woman blogger 'detained in Iran' after Mahsa Amini protests: media

Italian woman blogger 'detained in Iran' after Mahsa Amini protests: media
Travel and food blogger Alessia Piperno has reportedly been arrested and detained in Iran over posts she made on her social media page in support over Mahsa Amini, and the Iranian protesters demonstrating against the country's government.
3 min read
04 October, 2022
Mahsa Amini's death has sparked a large number of arrests amid a violent crackdown on protesters across the country [Getty]

Iran has arrested and imprisoned a female Italian blogger according to AFP on Monday, days after authorities stated that nine foreign nationals had been apprehended over the country’s ongoing anti-government protests.

The parents of Alessia Piperno, who is from Rome, told local media they had lost touch with their daughter after they spoke on Wednesday until she contacted them four days later on Sunday morning to inform them of her imprisonment.

"I'm fine but there are people here who say they have been inside for months and for no reason. I fear I won't be let out again. Help me," she told her parents, reported AFP.

Piperno, who is a food and travel blogger, posted several solidarity messages for Mahsa Amini and the ongoing demonstrations on her Instagram page, according to the US website The Daily Beast.


The website also said that Piperno, who has spent almost seven years travelling the world, had been in Tehran for nearly three months.

In one of her posts, the 30-year-old spoke of the Italian protest song 'Bella Ciao' in the wake of the protest movement that has swept Iran in recent weeks over the Kurdish-Iranian 22-year-old, who was pronounced dead on 16 September following her arrest by Iran’s Morality Police.

Amini, whose Kurdish name is Zhina or Jina, was arrested in Tehran for allegedly wearing her headscarf in an 'improper' manner.

"22-year-old girl killed by Iranian police for not wearing hijab correctly," she wrote in mid-September. "The truth is that that girl could have been me, or my friend Hanieh, or one of those women I met on this trip. Hijab in Iran is not synonymous with religion, it is synonymous with government," she also wrote in another post.

The post, which was uploaded last Wednesday, has been flooded with messages of support and calling for her release since news of her detention broke out.

Piperno’s last Instagram post shows her commemorating her seventh year of life as a travel blogger, as well as her celebrating her 30th birthday, which appears to have been held in a private home with friends in Tehran.

Rome’s foreign ministry has yet to respond on the detained Italian national, while Amnesty International Italy said it hoped that the ministry will do "everything it can" to ensure Piperno’s release.

Live Story

At least 92 people have been killed in Iran as part of a harsh crackdown on demonstrations prompted by Amini's death, the group Iran Human Rights said on Sunday.

The large-scale protests have become widespread across the country, where demonstrators have been demanding the dissolution of the so-called morality police, as well as the end of the country's mandatory hijab laws.

Iran has gone on to accuse has accused foreign actors - notably the US and Israel - of 'engineering' the nationwide protests, while the intelligence ministry confirmed that nine foreign nationals - including from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland - had been arrested.

The New Arab and other agencies contributed to this report.