Iran arrests Oscar-winning movie actress after social media post criticizes regime

Authorities in Iran have arrested a prominent actress in relation to the protests that have erupted across the country following the death of Mahsa Amini.

The report by state-owned IRNA said Taraneh Alidoosti, star of the Oscar-winning movie “The Salesman,” was detained a week after she made a post on Instagram expressing solidarity with the first man recently executed for crimes allegedly committed during the protests.

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.”

In her post, the 38-year-old actress said: ″His name was Mohsen Shekari. Every international organization who is watching this bloodshed and not taking action, is a disgrace to humanity.”

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Shekari was executed earlier this month after being charged by an Iranian court with blocking a street in Tehran and attacking a member of the country’s security forces with a machete.

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Fellow activists claimed he was convicted following a “show trial” that lacked any due process.

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In November, Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi, two other famous Iranian actresses, were arrested by authorities for expressing solidarity with protesters on social media. Voria Ghafouri, an Iranian soccer player, was also arrested last month for “insulting the national soccer team and propagandizing against the government.” All three have been released.

Since September, Alidoosti has openly expressed solidarity with protesters in at least three posts on Instagram. Her account, which had some 8 million followers, has been suspended.

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Alidoosti had previously criticized the Iranian government and its police force before this year’s protests.

In June 2020, she was given a suspended five-month prison sentence after she criticized the police on Twitter in 2018 for assaulting a woman who had removed her headscarf.

Protesters in Iran have taken to the streets for months, often clashing with Iranian security forces, following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who died in police custody after being arrested for not properly wearing her headscarf which is required by Iran’s Islamic government.

Iran has aggressively prosecuted protesters amid what has become the largest pushback against the Islamist regime in decades, with courts in and around the capital of Tehran sentencing 400 people to prison sentences of up to 10 years in the crack down.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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