Iran Protests: Actress of Oscar-winning movie held for backing anti-regime protests

Iran Protests: Iranian authorities arrested one of the country’s most famous actresses on suspicion of spreading false information about the country’s widespread protests, state media reported Saturday.

According to IRNA, Taraneh Alidoosti, the Oscar-winning actress from “The Salesman,” was detained a week after she posted on Instagram expressing solidarity with the first man recently executed for crimes allegedly committed during the nationwide protests.
IRNA also reported that several other Iranian celebrities had been summoned by the judiciary over the publication of provocative content. It didn’t say how many or give any other information.

According to the report published on the state media’s official Telegram channel, Alidoosti was arrested because she did not provide “any documents in line with her claims”.

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Actress writes in her post:

“His name was Mohsen Shekari,” the 38-year-old actress wrote in her post. “Every international organisation who is watching this bloodshed and not taking action, is a disgrace to humanity.”
Shekari was executed on December 9 after an Iranian court charged him with obstructing a street in Tehran and assaulting a member of the country’s security forces with a machete.

In connection with the protests, Iran executed a second prisoner, Majidreza Rahnavard, last week. Rahnavard’s body was hung from a construction crane as a chilling warning to others. According to Iranian authorities, Rahnavard stabbed two members of its paramilitary force.

Both men were executed less than a month after being charged, demonstrating the haste with which Iran is now carrying out death sentences imposed for alleged crimes related to the protests. According to activists, at least a dozen people have been sentenced to death in closed-door proceedings.

Since the protests began in September, Alidoosti has made at least three posts on her Instagram account expressing solidarity with protesters. Her Instagram account, which had approximately 8 million followers, was suspended on Sunday.

Protests have erupted in Iran since the death on September 16 of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died after being detained by morality police. Since then, the protests have evolved into one of the most serious challenges to Iran’s theocracy, which was established by the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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Alidoosti has previously chastised the Iranian government and its security forces.

She was sentenced to five months in prison suspended in June 2020 after criticising police on Twitter in 2018 for assaulting a woman who had removed her headscarf.

Alidoosti has also appeared in the films The Beautiful City and About Elly.

Authorities arrested Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi, two other well-known Iranian actresses, for expressing solidarity with protesters on social media. Both have been made available.
According to Human Rights Activists in Iran, a group that has been monitoring the protests since they began, at least 495 people have been killed in the demonstrations amid a harsh security crackdown. Authorities have detained over 18,200 people.

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