Iran-Hijab Controversy: In yet another incident of “dictatorship”, Iranian authorities have now arrested one of the country’s most famous actresses for spreading lies about nationwide protests. Taraneh Alidosti, star of the Oscar-winning film “The Salesman”, was arrested on Saturday following his “controversial social media posts” in favor of the protesters, who have been demonstrating against the government since September this year, according to state media.
In particular, Iran has been simmering for the past three months because of the “death in custody” of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, after being caught by the morality police over a dress code violation. Since then, Iranian citizens, including men, have been protesting against the anti-hijab regime in the country.
According to a report by IRNA, the arrest of Taraneh Alidosti followed his “unverified claims” on an Instagram post, in which he expressed solidarity with the first person convicted of crimes allegedly committed during the protests. “He did not provide any documents to support his claims,” Iranian media said.
It said that several other Iranian figures were also “summoned by the judiciary body over publishing inflammatory material,” and some were arrested. It gave no further details. In her post, the 38-year-old actress said: “His name was Mohsin Shekhri. Every international organization that is watching this bloodbath and not taking action is a shame to humanity.
Shekhri was executed on 9 December after being accused by an Iranian court of blocking a road in Tehran and attacking a member of the country’s security forces with a machete.
In November, two other famous Iranian actresses Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayun Riahi were arrested by the authorities for expressing solidarity with the protesters on social media. Iranian football player Voria Ghafouri was also arrested last month on charges of ‘insulting the national football team and campaigning against the government’. All three have been released.
Alidusti has openly expressed solidarity with the protesters in at least three posts on Instagram since September. His account with around 80 lakh followers has been suspended.
Last week, Iran executed another prisoner, Majidreza Rahnavard, in connection with the protests. Rahnevard’s body was left hanging from a construction crane as a gruesome warning to others. Iranian officials alleged that Rahnavarad stabbed two members of his paramilitary force. Both Shekhri and Rahnavarad were executed less than a month after being indicted, underscoring the speed at which Iran now carries out capital punishment for alleged crimes related to the demonstrations. Activists say at least a dozen people have been sentenced to death in closed-door trials. Iran is one of the world’s top executioners.
(with inputs from AP)