A few weeks ago, Masih Alinejad - an Iranian journalist based in London - posted a photo of herself without a veil on her Facebook page. Her initiative inspired women across the Islamic Republic to unveil themselves
in a similar fashion. But it also made her the target of death threats and a smear campaign co-ordinated by state television channels.
And the media aren't going about things half-heartedly. Take, for example, the journalist who works for this state channel
who accuses Masih Alinejad of being addicted to drugs. He continues by alleging that she was stripped in the London subway, raped by three thugs and that her son was afflicted psychologically. He uses a photo of the young woman holding her face in her hands to illustrate his claims.
When contacted by FRANCE 24, Masih Alinejad said that the accusations were nothing more than lies. She added that it's not the first time that she has been targeted since she opened her page "small moments of liberty". As proof, she sent FRANCE 24 several screen grabs of death and rape threats she has received. An extremely conservative presenter of an Iranian channel went as far as to publicly insult her on his Google + account, saying that she should "be treated like a prostitute".
A death threat sent to Masih.
"I never thought that this page would get me here"
They want to dishonour me, and to do it, they say things that could hurt not only my reputation but also that of my family and friends. It's now 30 years that they've used this method of dsiscrediting journalists and opposition activists. But I never thought that this page would get me here. I'm thinking about going to court in Iran and England against this television channel and the presenter who insulted me, but I know that that would lead to nothing. As a journalist, I hope to have the support of my colleagues. Everyone must now how journalists are treated in Iran.
An obscene message sent to Masih.