Iran Arrests Two Actors For Removing Headscarves In Solidarity With Protesters: Report

Iran Arrests Two Actors For Removing Headscarves In Solidarity With Protesters: Report

New Delhi: Two popular Iranian actresses were detained for showing support to the protesters by removing their headscarves in public in an apparent act of defiance against the regime, state media reported Sunday.

Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi were summoned with regard to a probe into their “provocative” social media posts and media activity after which they got arrested, news agency AFP reported citing the state-run IRNA.

Iran has been facing violent protests for more than two months after the death of a 22-year-old woman of Kurdish origin Mahsa Amini in police custody after she was arrested by the morality police in Tehran.

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Ghaziani, who voiced her opinion against the crackdown on protesters, was arrested for inciting and supporting the “riots” and for communicating with opposition media, noted IRNA.

The 52-year-old film star also hinted at being summoned by the judiciary as she posted a video on Instagram that shows her without wearing the obligatory hijab. “Maybe this will be my last post,” she stated in her post late Saturday.

          View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Hengameh Ghaziani (@hengamehghaziani)

“From this moment on, whatever happens to me, know that as always, I am with the Iranian people until my last breath.”

The video, which seems to have been recorded in a shopping street, shows Ghaziani without any hijab looking at the camera and turning around to tie her hair into a ponytail.

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In her earlier post, the actor accused the “child-killer” Iranian government of “murdering” more than 50 children.

Another actress Riahi, who is 60 years old, was later arrested in the same probe, IRNA said.

In September, the veteran actor, who is known for award-winning movies and charitable work, gave an interview without wearing a hijab to the London-based Iran International TV, an outlet despised by the regime.

Ghaziani was among eight people who were summoned by prosecutors over “provocative” material posted on social media, according to the judiciary’s Mizan Online news website. 

Others included Yahya Golmohammadi, coach of Tehran football team Persepolis FC, who had strongly voiced protest against players on Iran’s national squad for not “bringing the voice of oppressed people to the ears of the authorities”.

The website said other prominent actors including Mitra Hajjar and Baran Kosari had also been summoned.

Earlier one of Iran’s best-known actors Taraneh Alidoosti also posted an image of herself on social media without the mandatory headscarf. Alidoosti vowed to continue living in her homeland at “any price”, saying she intends to stop working and focus on supporting the families of those killed or arrested in the protest crackdown.

Celebrities were under pressure even before the start of the protest movement sparked by Amini’s death.

Prize-winning directors Mohammad Rasoulof and Jafar Panahi remain in detention after they were arrested earlier this year.