Iran arrests two renowned actresses who protested without the mandatory headscarves
State-run media in Iran reported that two well-known actresses had been arrested for openly endorsing large-scale anti-government demonstrations. According to the Irna news agency, Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi are charged with conspiring and subverting Iranian authorities. Both women had previously made public appearances sans headscarves as a show of support for protesters.
After a woman, died while under the custody of the police in September, protests broke out.
The morality police in Tehran’s capital city nabbed Mahsa Amini, 22, for allegedly flouting the stringent hijab laws. Three days later, on September 16, she passed away. Police denied that she was mistreated and said that she had a heart attack. However, there were reports that they had struck her with a baton and hit her head against a car.
Irna reports that Ms. Ghaziani and Ms. Riahi, two multi-award winning actors, were arrested on Sunday at the request of Iran’s prosecutor’s office.
Before being detained, Ms. Ghaziani posted on social media, saying, “Whatever happens, know that as always, I will stand with the people of Iran.” She said, “This might be my last post.”
Several prominent Iranian public personalities, including the actresses, have publicly stated their support for the protesters who are holding demonstrations against the country’s clerical regime.
One of the best-known performers from Iran still living there, Taraneh Alidoosti, shared a photo of herself on social media earlier this month sans the required headscarf.
Alidoosti swore to stay in her country at “whatever cost,” declaring that she intended to give up her job in order to help the families of those who were slain or detained during the protest crackdown.
Award-winning filmmakers Mohammad Rasoulof and Jafar Panahi are still in custody after being detained earlier this year.
The captain of Iran’s national football team competing in the World Cup in Qatar, Ehsan Hajsafi, stated earlier on Sunday that “we have to recognize that the situation in our country is not right and our people are not happy.”
Separately, Hossein Soori, the head of the Iranian boxing organisation, declared that he would not be returning to Iran after a competition in Spain because of the brutal repression of the protesters there.
According to human rights advocates, security forces’ onslaught on protesters resulted in the deaths of 400 protesters and the detention of 16,800 others. The protests, according to Iran’s government, are “riots” planned by the nation’s adversaries outside.
In relation to the protests, at least five protestors have received death sentences.