One of Iran’s best-known actresses has been arrested days after she criticized the execution of a man involved in the nationwide protests that have swept the country since September.
Taraneh Alidoosti, who starred in the 2016 Oscar-winning film ‘The Traveling Salesman’, had condemned the hanging of Mohsen Shekari, who was killed this month in the first known execution linked to the protests. Shekari was reportedly found guilty of “war against God” for stabbing a member of the paramilitary Basij force during a demonstration in Tehran on 23 September.
State media Fars News Agency, affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, said Alidoosti was arrested due to a “lack of evidence to support her claims”.
Known as a feminist activist, Alidoosti posted a photo of herself on Instagram last month without the Islamic hijab and holding a sign reading “Women, Life, Freedom” to show her support for the protest movement.
After Shekari’s execution, she said in another post, “Your silence means supporting tyranny and tyrants,” adding that “any international organization that observes this bloodshed and fails to act, is a disgrace to the world.” ‘humanity”.
His Instagram account has since been deleted.
A few days after Shekari was hanged, a second execution took place on December 12. Majidreza Rahnavard was hanged in Mashhad, in the northeast of the country, after being accused of killing two paramilitary officers.
“Some celebrities make statements without evidence and publish provocations and have thus been arrested,” the Far news agency said in its report on Alidoosti.
Local rights group the Committee for Combating Violence Against Women in Iranian Cinema said on Twitter that it was unclear which government department arrested Alidoosti.
Alidoosti, who has appeared on various popular Iranian TV shows, is known for her activism in the MeToo movement in the Iranian film industry.
Last month, she denied reports that she had left Iran, writing that she planned to stay in the country and stop working.
“I will stand with the families of the prisoners and those killed and demand justice for them. I will fight for my home and pay any price to defend my rights,” she wrote.
Several Iranians have been sentenced to death by execution during the nationwide protests, which were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was apprehended by state vice squads for not wearing her hijab properly.
His death struck a chord in the Islamic Republic, with prominent public figures showing support for the movement. Protests have since coalesced around a series of grievances with the authoritarian regime.
According to Amnesty International, in November Iranian authorities were seeking 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, according to Norway-based Iran Human Rights on Wednesday.
CNN cannot independently verify the number of people facing execution in Iran, nor the latest arrest figures or the death toll related to the protests, as precise numbers are impossible for anyone outside of the Iranian government to confirm. .