CAIRO (AP) — Iranian authorities arrested one of the country’s most famous actresses Saturday on charges of spreading lies about the nationwide protests sweeping the country, state media said.
Taraneh Alidoosti, star of the Oscar-winning film “The Salesman,” posted on Instagram in solidarity with the first person recently executed for alleged crimes at the protests, IRNA reports. man, was detained a week later.
The announcement is the latest in a string of celebrity arrests, including footballers, actors and influencers, in response to their public voices of support for anti-government demonstrations, now in its third month
Alidoosti was arrested because she did not provide “any documents that met her requirements,” according to a report published on the state-run Telegram channel.
Several other Iranian celebrities have also been “summoned by the judiciary for posting provocative content,” and some have been arrested, it said. It did not provide further details.
The 38-year-old actress said in her post: “His name is Mohsen Shekari. Shame on humanity for every international organization that witnesses this bloodshed and does not act.”
Shekari was executed on December 9 after being accused by an Iranian court of blocking a street in Tehran and attacking members of the country’s security forces with machetes.
In November, authorities arrested two other prominent Iranian actresses, Hegameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi, for their social media support for protesters. Iranian footballer Voria Ghafouri was also arrested last month for “insulting the national football team and anti-government propaganda”. All three have been released.
Alidoosti has publicly expressed solidarity with the protesters in at least three Instagram posts since September. Her account, which has about 8 million followers, has been suspended.
Last week, Iran executed a second prisoner, Majidreza Rahnavard, in connection with the protests. Ranawad’s body was hoisted from a construction crane as a dire warning to others. Iranian authorities said Ranawad stabbed two members of his paramilitary forces.
Shekari and Rahnavard were executed less than a month after being charged, underscoring the speed with which Iran is now carrying out death sentences for alleged crimes related to the demonstrations. At least a dozen people were sentenced to death in closed-door hearings, activists said. Iran is one of the top executioners in the world.
Iran has been rocked by protests since the Sept. 16 death of Mahsa Amini, 22, in the custody of morality police. The protests have since evolved into one of the most serious challenges to Iran’s theocracy from the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Alidoosti had criticized the Iranian government and its police force before this year’s protests.
In June 2020, she received a suspended five-month prison sentence for criticizing police on Twitter in 2018 for beating a woman who took off her hijab.
At least 495 people have been killed in the demonstrations amid a harsh security crackdown, according to Iranian human rights activists, who have been monitoring the protests since they began. Authorities detained more than 18,200 people.
Alidoosti’s other notable films include “A Beautiful City” and “About Allie.”