Taraneh Alidoosti, one of Iran’s most prominent actors, has been arrested on charges of spreading false information about the nationwide protests after expressing solidarity with protesters, state media said Saturday.
The Islamic Republic News Agency reported her arrest on its Telegram, saying that Alidoosti was detained because she did not provide “any documents in line with her claims,″ according to the Associated Press.
Best known for her role in The Salesman, which won the 2016 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, the 38-year-old actor made an Instagram post expressing solidarity with Mohsen Shekari, who was executed by the Iranian government last week. Shekari, 23, had been charged with blocking a street in Tehran and attacking a member of the pro-regime militia with a machete. He also was accused of “moharebeh,” or waging a war against God, a charge that carries an automatic death sentence in Iran.
“His name was Mohsen Shekari.’’ Alidoosti wrote in her post. ‘‘Every international organization who is watching this bloodshed and not taking action, is a disgrace to humanity.”
“Your silence means supporting oppression and oppressors,” the actor told her more than 8 million followers.
Iran has been embroiled in protests since the Sept. 16 death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died while in the custody of morality police who had detained her for "improperly" wearing her hijab. Her death has become the driving force of anti-government demonstrations and prompted global condemnation of the country’s abuse of human rights.
Last month, Alidoosti posted a photo of herself on Instagram without her hijab, holding a sign that read “Woman, Freedom, Life,” in Kurdish. She also told her followers that she would stay in Iran “at any price,” and had “no intention of leaving.”
“I will stay, I will halt working,” she wrote, according to CBS News. “I will stand by the families of prisoners and those killed. I will be their advocate.”
Two other Iranian actors, Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi, were arrested last month for supporting the protests, but both have since been released.
Shekari was the first protester to be executed for crimes related to the protests. A second protester, Majidreza Rahnavard, was executed several days later. At least nine others have been sentenced to death, according to the nonprofit Iran Human Rights, and dozens more are at risk of being executed. Since the protests began, at least 495 protesters have been killed, including 68 children, and more than 18,000 have been arrested, according to human rights activists in Iran.