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Iran arrests famous actress Taraneh Alidoosti over protests

The actress, who starred in the Oscar-winning film 'The Salesman,' had made a post expressing solidarity with an executed protester

Deutsche Welle Published 18.12.22, 10:08 AM
Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti pictured without a headscarf and holding a sign showing the protest slogan "woman, life, freedom" in Kurdish

Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti pictured without a headscarf and holding a sign showing the protest slogan "woman, life, freedom" in Kurdish Deutsche Welle

Iranian authorities have arrested prominent actress Taraneh Alidoosti, state media said on Saturday.

Alidoosti, who starred in the Oscar-winning film "The Salesman," made several Instagram protests expressing support toward protests over the death of young Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini in police custody.


Why was Alidoosti arrested?

Iran's state IRNA news agency reported that Alidoosti was detained a week after she made a post on Instagram expressing solidarity with a man executed for alleged involvement in unrest.

''His name was Mohsen Shekari. Every international organization who is watching this bloodshed and not taking action is a disgrace to humanity," she said in her Instagram post.

Alidoosti's account was suspended as of Sunday.

According to ISNA, Alidoosti was arrested because she did not provide "any documents in line with her claims."

The pro-government news agency Tasnim reported that she was detained for "spreading false information and supporting counter-revolutionary circles."

The actor was given a five-month prison sentence in 2020 after she criticized police on Twitter for assaulting a woman who had removed her headscarf.

Iran executes first prisoners in connection with protests

Shekari was executed on December 9 after being charged by an Iranian court with attacking a member of security forces with a machete during the unrest.

Last week, Iran executed Majidreza Rahnavard in connection with protests. Authorities alleged that Rahnavard had stabbed two members of its paramilitary force.

The two men were executed less than a month after they were charged.

On Friday, Amnesty International announced that 26 protesters were facing execution, with 11 of them already having been sentenced.

Social media giants threatened with permanent ban

Also on Saturday, Iran threatened to permanently block WhatsApp and Instagram due to their widespread use by activists since the protests first broke out following Amini's death in September.

National Cyber Center chief Abolhassan Firouzabadi told a local newspaper that he was still waiting for a response from parent company Meta to a letter sent by Iranian authorities earlier this month.

The two services have been temporarily blocked, accused of involvement "in the conspiracy against Iran led by the foreign enemies."

Government critics say the internet curbs are an attempt to prevent the dissemination of information, pictures and videos about the protests and subsequent government crackdown which left several hundred people dead.

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