Taraneh Alidoosti: Iranian actress arrested after criticizing execution of protester


One of Iran’s best-known actors has been arrested days after he criticized the killing of a man who took part in nationwide protests that have gripped the country since September.

Taraneh Alidoosti, who starred in the 2016 Oscar-winning film, “The Salesman,” condemned the hanging of Mohsen Shekari, who was executed this month in the first known protest-related killing. Shekari was reportedly convicted of “fighting God” for stabbing a member of the Basij militia during a demonstration in Tehran on 23 September.

State media Fars News Agency, which is affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said Alidoosti was arrested due to “lack of evidence for his claims”.

Known as a feminist activist, Alidoosti last month posted a photo on Instagram of herself without an Islamic hijab and holding a sign reading “Women, Life, Freedom” to show support for the protest.

After Shekari’s murder, he said in another post: “Your silence means support for the dictator and the tyrants,” adding that “all the international organizations that are looking into this drop- This is blood and does not take responsibility, it disgraces humanity.”

His Instagram account has been deleted.

Several days after Shekari was hanged, a second execution took place on December 12. Majidreza Rahnavard was hanged in the northeastern city of Mashhad after being accused of killing two army officers.

“Some celebrities are making statements without evidence and issuing provocations and have been arrested for it,” Far News Agency said in its report on Alidoosti.

A local human rights group, the Committee Against Violence Against Women in Iranian Films, said on Twitter that it was unclear which government agency detained Alidoosti.

Alidoosti, who has appeared in various popular Iranian TV shows, is known for her activism in the MeToo movement in Iran’s cinema industry.

Last month, he denied reports that he had left Iran, writing that he planned to stay in the country and stop working.

“I will stand by the families of the prisoners and the murdered and demand justice for them. I will fight for my home and I will pay whatever it takes to stand up for my rights,” he wrote.

Several Iranians have been sentenced to death during nationwide protests, which were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was arrested by the morality police for alleged misconduct. what the hijab should be.

His death sent shockwaves across the Islamic Republic, with prominent figures coming out to support the movement. The protests began to coalesce around various grievances against the authoritarian regime.

According to Amnesty International, in November, Iranian authorities sought the death penalty for at least 21 people in connection with the protests.

At least 458 people have been killed in the unrest since September, the Norway-based Iran Human Rights Center said on Wednesday.

CNN cannot independently verify the number of people facing death in Iran, the number of recent arrests or the death toll related to the protests, as they are not available to anyone outside the Iranian government. to verify the correct figure.


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