How Iranian state television goes about discrediting a woman who has escaped their clutches: it claims she stripped her clothes off on a London street while her son stood watching, and was promptly raped by three men. Sounds plausible, doesn’t it.
Iranian state television aired a report claiming that the Britain-based journalist Masih Alinejad, founder of the “My Stealthy Freedom” social media campaign against mandatory veiling, had been assaulted and raped in London in the presence of her son.
The broadcast described Alinejad as a “nexus of sedition” for her campaign, which has garnered over 430,000 likes on Facebook. Hundreds of Iranian women from inside the country have posted pictures of themselves taking their headscarves off in public.
State television painted the campaign as promoting indecency amongst Iranian women, and alleged that an “unstable” Alinejad had stripped naked on a London street and was shortly thereafter raped by three passersby while her son stood watching. The report also claimed that London’s Metropolitan Police, together with BBC officials, had sought to keep the alleged rape confidential, but that the story emerged on social media sites and generated a broad reaction.
Alinejad swiftly rebutted the report on her Facebook page–which has 224,000 followers, as opposed to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Facebook page, which is liked by 16,463. She posted that she was in good health and had not endured an attack of any sort.
She also provided a cheerful video of herself singing on a London tube station – Temple, to be exact – while a train arrives, waits, and departs. I find her more credible than Iranian state tv.