Iran Arrests Oscar-Winning Film Actress After Social Media Post Criticizes Regime

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

The state-run IRNA report says Taraneh Alidoosti, star of the Oscar-winning film “The Salesman,” was arrested a week after she posted on Instagram expressing solidarity with the first man recently executed by alleged crimes committed during the protests.

According to the report published on the official Telegram channel of the state media, Alidoosti was detained because she did not provide “any documents in accordance with her claims”.

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

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Actress Taraneh Alidoosti during a photo call for the film "Forushande" (The Salesman) at the 69th Cannes International Film Festival in southern France.

Actress Taraneh Alidoosti during a photo call for the film “Forushande” (The Salesman) at the 69th Cannes International Film Festival in southern France.
(AP Photo/Joel Ryan, File)

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

His fellow activists claimed he was convicted after a “show trial” that lacked due process.

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Taraneh Alidoosti poses for photographers on arrival at the premiere of the film 'Leila's Brothers' at the 75th International Film Festival, Cannes, southern France, Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Taraneh Alidoosti poses for photographers on arrival at the premiere of the film ‘Leila’s Brothers’ at the 75th International Film Festival, Cannes, southern France, Wednesday, May 25, 2022
(AP Photo/Daniel Cole, File)

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

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

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In this Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, photo taken by a person not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by AP outside Iran, protesters set fires and block a street during a protest over the death of a woman who was arrested by the moral police, in the center of Tehran, Iran.

In this Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, photo taken by a person not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by AP outside Iran, protesters set fires and block a street during a protest over the death of a woman who was arrested by the moral police, in the center of Tehran, Iran.
(AP Photo, File)

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

In June 2020, she received a five-month suspended prison sentence after criticizing police on Twitter in 2018 for assaulting a woman who had taken off her headscarf.

Protesters in Iran have out on 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 properly wearing the headscarf required by the Islamic government of Iran.

Iran has aggressively prosecuted protesters amid what has become the biggest crackdown on the Islamist regime in decades, with courts in and around the capital Tehran sending 400 people to prison terms of up to 10 years for repression.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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