Iran arrests Oscar-winning film actress after criticizing regime on social media

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

According to the report from the state-owned IRNA, Taraneh Alidoosti, star of the Oscar-winning film “The Salesman,” was arrested a week after she posted a message on Instagram expressing her solidarity with the first man recently executed for crimes committed committed during the protests.

According to the report published on the official Telegram channel of the state media, Alidoosti has been arrested for “failing to provide documents consistent with her allegations”.

In her post, the 38-year-old actress said: ″His name was Mohsen Shekari. Any international organization that sees this bloodshed and takes no 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 after a “mock trial” without 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 footballer, was also arrested last month for “insulting the national football team and propaganda 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 about 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 five-month suspended prison sentence after criticizing police in 2018 on Twitter for assaulting a woman who had removed her headscarf.

protesters in Iran brought to the street 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 wearing her headscarf correctly, which is required by Iran’s Islamist government.

Iran has aggressively prosecuted protesters amid what has become the largest backlash against the Islamist regime in decades, with courts in and around Tehran’s capital sentenced 400 people to prison terms of up to 10 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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