The story of an Iranian model who fled the country to evade punishment for posing for partially clothed pictures and found refuge in Paris has received worldwide attention.
The 29-year-old woman, who calls herself 'Negzzia' (to protect her identity), fled to Istanbul after she found out that her photographer had given semi-nude pictures of her to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
While the photographer was arrested, Negzzia fled the company to evade the punishment for violating dress code and immodestly displaying her body against the state's Islamic rules. It is reported that posing nude would have been punishable by 148 lashes in Iran.
She revealed that the photographer had attempted to rape her in an interview with Le Parisien.
"My friend called me and said he is on the list and I just remembered that he told me 'say goodbye to your body' and at that moment I understood that. I just took a small bag and moved to Istanbul," Negzzia said in an interview with Agencia EFE.
In Istanbul, Negzzia continued to model for a year before shifting to Paris due to fears of being spied upon for prosecution.
However, after shifting to Paris, the money she saved from her modelling projects ran out as she was unable to find work due to inadequate immigration papers.
Incidents such as being shut in a room for refusing sexual favours to a man, sleeping in parks, selling clothes for food were described by her grabbed interests of Parisian netizens.
"The first night was very hard. The second night was better because I was trying to convince myself that I could do it," she told Le Parisien.
"The third night was the worst: my back was very sore and that is when I realised it was not going to be easy."
Her plight reached its peak after French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner tweeted her interview with Le Parisien.
He wrote on July 1, "Asylum will naturally be offered to her. The French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons confirmed to me. Her services are in contact with her, her file examined with the kind attention due to her situation," reported News.com.
The tweet was deleted following criticism by the public who claimed that the fast track process for guaranteeing her asylum status in France was unfairly provided as hundreds of immigrants who are in the same situation don't have the platform.
Negzzia who has more than 128,000 followers on Instagram, shares anecdotes about her life and encourages people to follow their paths despite hardships. She had also revealed that she contemplated suicide three times when she was at her weakest.
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Little me , A lot have changed since the last time you played with your dolls .Now you are the hero that changed your world . You aren't that shy girl anymore , the insecure little girl that sat in the corner and wished to be like the other girls.now you feel pretty and powerful and just want to be yourself . you never even imagined that you would ever be brave enough to stand up for your dreams . But guess what? You do stand up for them . I know that is a little hard to believe, but trust me, little me, you make it and you make it far.life was not kind to you but you didn’t lost your hope and kindness.you had hope even when there was no light in the darkness .little me, you find a true love in your own eyes. You did all the things that everyone said you can’t. Little me I’m gonna try harder and I’m gonna make our life like our dreams. I want you be proud when you looking at yourself. Little me ,I’ll not give up on you and what you wished for your life... #littleme
In recent local interviews, she has stated that she will continue to fight for her rights and want to achive success in the fashion industry.
"Nothing can make me scared," she told France 24. "I slept in the street, I ran away from my country, I had really crazy time, people wanted to rape me."
"I will continue, or I will die."