Iranian authorities have arrested one of the country’s most famous actor days after she voiced support for the nationwide protests sparked by the death of a woman in custody, state media reported on Saturday.
Taraneh Alidoosti, who starred in Oscar-winning movie The Salesman, was arrested on charges of spreading falsehoods after she had shared a post on Instagram expressing solidarity with the first man recently executed for crimes allegedly committed during the demonstrations, the Associated Press reported.
On December 8, the Islamic Republic executed the first detainee linked with the protests, a 23-year-old named Mohsen Shekari. He was convicted and sentenced to death for blocking a street and wounding a paramilitary officer during the early phase of the protests in mid-September.
In her Instagram post, the 38-year-old actor had criticised international organisations for not speaking out against the execution of Shekari, reported AP. “Watching this bloodshed and not taking action, is a disgrace to humanity,” she wrote.
According to Iranian state media, Alidoosti was arrested because she did not provide any documents supporting her claims.
In an earlier Instagram post in November, Alidoosti had shared her picture without the hijab and held a piece of paper reading “women, life, freedom”, the slogan that captures the sentiments of the anti-government protests, reported The Guardian.
Alidoosti’s Instagram account, which had eight million followers, has been suspended, according to AP.
Protests have swept Iran for nearly three months since 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini died after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for an alleged breach of the country’s strict hijab dress code for women.
Officials claimed that she died of a heart attack on September 16 while in custody, but critics of the Iranian regime believe that she was physically assaulted on accusations of violating the hijab mandate.
Alidoosti’s detention comes after Iran has cracked down on several other public figures for extending their support to the protestors. In November, the authorities had detained Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi, two other renowned Iranian actresses, for expressing solidarity with the demonstrations on social media.
Iranian football player Voria Ghafouri was also arrested last month for “insulting the national soccer team and propagandising against the government”, reported the AP.