Iran, Alessia Piperno at Live in Genoa: “I remember everything about the imprisonment”

“Everything from those 45 days remained within me: the women I met, those who shared their story with me, the noises of Evin, the feeling of still being in the corner of that cell. I see everything again, the colors, the faces, everything.” Speaking is Alessia Piperno, the Italian travel blogger arrested in Iran in 2022 because she was unjustly accused of having participated in the protests for women’s freedom. (LIVE IN GENOA – LIVE UPDATES)

The trip to Iran

Alessia has returned home but her experience brings with her the need to fight for women’s freedom in Iran as well as in the rest of the world. “What if I’m an activist? I don’t like to assign myself a precise label but the freedom of Iranian women is very close to my heart, I think we should all deserve the same freedom. The purpose of my book is also that: to talk about the freedom that should belong to all women but also to men.” The memories of the trip before the arrest are all beautiful and positive: “Iran’s society is wonderful”, she said. “The people are welcoming, they offered me food, gave me gifts. Before the arrest everything was wonderful. The people are not the regime. But those who are with the regime are the ones who put me in the most difficulty because I was a woman traveling alone.”

The women met in prison

The travel blogger said she is still in contact with the women she met in Iran and Evin but doesn’t know much about their lives now. “The conversations with the women I met there are superficial,” she said, “because they can’t reveal anything to me, they could pass for spies. Social media and channels are monitored.” In that country freedom does not exist and change is far away. “A cellmate of mine told me that Iran is an island in the middle of the ocean. Everyone knows what’s happening, no one helps us. It’s true: no one was able to save the lives of people sentenced to death. Everything remained as it was before. The situation has remained unchanged.” Alessia also remembered her partner Louis, a French boy arrested in Iran with her. “But he is still there, sentenced to 5 years in prison. I will do everything to bring him home and France isn’t doing much. I feel lucky to be Italian.”

Dreams of freedom and change

“I am a big dreamer: dream and do it big,” Piperno said to the young people present in the room. “The last 7 years have been a continuous realization of dreams: travel and life experiences. To date, the biggest dream is to be able to sell equal freedom for all countries in the world and do something that can lead to change.” And she added, moved: “I dream that girls show their hair, that they can express their dreams. In Iran you are limited in your choices. You cannot travel, sing, dance. I dream of what we have, for them. We have it we all deserve it.” The travel blogger, despite the 45 days of hell she experienced in prison, also dreams of being able to return to Iran sooner or later: “I have not regretted having been to Iran. Would I go back? Yes, but not now, especially after this book. They wouldn’t let me off the plane.”