Taraneh Alidoosti, a popular Iranian actress, was arrested by local authorities on Saturday after she posted messages on social media expressing solidarity with the anti-government protests that have rocked Iran for almost three months.
Ms Alidoosti, 38, was arrested in connection with what state media described as “baseless comments on recent events” and “publishing provocative material”.
It is one of the highest-level detentions that Iranian authorities have made in an effort to suppress a women-led uprising that began in September. The protests began after the death of a woman. 22 years old, Mahsa Amini, while in the custody of the ethics police on charges that she violated the mandatory rules on headscarves. Iran has faced international condemnation for its violent response to the protests.
In recent weeks, Ms Alidoosti, whose credits include a Sellers Academy Award winner, has gained attention after posting a picture of herself not wearing a hijab in while holding a sign expressing her support for protesters calling for an end to authoritarian clericalism. rule in Iran.
This month, after the Iranian government announced the hanging of Mohsen Shekari, a 23-year-old prisoner arrested during protests that have spread across the country, Alidoosti urged people to speak out.
“Your silence means supporting the oppressor and the oppressors,” she wrote.
As of Sunday, Ms Alidoosti’s Instagram account appears to have been removed from the platform and Her Twitter account seems to have been suspended. Her recent posts are no longer viewable.
In a short Telegram post announcing Alidoosti’s arrest, the state news agency, the Islamic Republic News Agency, said Alidoosti “did not provide documentation” for some of what it described as a her “statement”. She was arrested “by order of the judiciary,” according to the Telegram post.
The state bulletin also said that “several celebrities” had made comments similar to Ms Alidoosti’s “in support of previous street riots.” The Telegram entry said that some of them had been arrested, but did not name anyone other than Ms. Alidoosti.
This is not the first time Alidoosti has expressed her political views. When “The Salesman” was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2016, Alidoosti said she would boycott the ceremony to protest President Trump’s travel ban on citizens from seven countries. family, five of which are predominantly Muslim.
The film went on to win that award.