Taraneh Alidoosti was detained after expressing her solidarity with a man recently executed over protests.
Iranian authorities have arrested one of the country’s most famous actresses on charges of spreading falsehoods about nationwide protests sweeping the country, state media said on Saturday.
The Islamic Republic of News Agency (IRNA) report says that Taraneh Alidoosti, star of Oscar-winning film The Salesman, was jailed a week after posting on Instagram expressing her solidarity with the first man recently arrested was executed for alleged crimes committed during the nationwide protests.
IRNA also said several other Iranian celebrities “have been subpoenaed by the judiciary for posting provocative content.”
It was not said how many or more details.
According to the report, published on the state media’s official Telegram channel, Alidoosti was arrested for “failing to provide any documents supporting her claims”.
In her post, the 38-year-old actress said: “His name was Mohsen Shekari. Any international organization that watches this bloodshed and fails to act is a disgrace to humanity.”
Shekari was executed on December 9 after being charged by an Iranian court with blocking a road in Tehran and attacking a member of the country’s security forces with a machete.
Quick death sentences
Last week, Iran executed a second prisoner, Majidreza Rahnavard, in connection with the protests. Rahnavard’s body was hung from a construction crane as a warning to others. Iranian authorities claimed that Rahnavard stabbed two members of his paramilitary force.
Both men were executed less than a month after they were charged, underscoring the speed with which Iran is now carrying out death sentences imposed for alleged crimes related to the demonstrations. Activists said at least a dozen people had been sentenced to death in closed hearings.
Alidoosti has made at least three posts on her Instagram account since the demonstrations broke out in September, expressing her solidarity with the protesters. Her account, which had around eight million followers, was suspended.
Iran has been rocked by protests since the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died after being detained by morality police. The protests have since evolved into one of the most serious challenges to Iran’s system of government, created after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Alidoosti has previously criticized the Iranian government and its police.
In June 2020, she was given a five-month suspended sentence after she criticized police on Twitter in 2018 for assaulting a woman who had taken off her headscarf.
Other films Alidoosti has acted in are The Beautiful City and About Elly.
Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi, two other famous actresses in Iran, have been arrested by the authorities for expressing solidarity with protesters on social media. Both were released.
According to human rights activists in Iran, a group that has been monitoring the protests since they began, at least 495 people have been killed in a crackdown by security forces during the demonstrations.
More than 18,200 people were arrested by the authorities.