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Taraneh Alidoosti: Iran releases actor jailed for condemning execution of protestor

Taraneh Alidoosti released on bail
via euronews (en español)

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    Prominent Iranian actor Taraneh Alidoosti was recently released on bail after being detained for criticizing the Iranian government, her lawyer announced.

    The news of Alidoosti’s release was reportedly shared in an Instagram Story by her mother, Nadereh Hakim Elahi, on Wednesday.

    Alidoosti’s attorney, Zahra Minooei, also shared the news on Twitter, writing, “Today, my client Ms. Taraneh Alidoosti will be released from Evin Prison after posting bail.”

    Pictures of the 38-year-old actor, who was arrested on Dec. 17, 2022, have begun circulating widely on social media. In the photos, she can be seen standing outside Evin Prison without a hijab.

    She gained international recognition after appearing in several award-winning films, including Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning 2016 film “The Salesman.”

    Alidoosti was jailed for condemning the Iranian government’s order to hang protestor Mohsen Shekari, who was reportedly accused of stabbing a member of the Basij paramilitary force at a protest in Tehran.

    This was reportedly the first known execution of a person linked to the nationwide anti-government protests that started in September last year. 

    The protests erupted following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian who was detained by Iran’s morality police for wearing an “improper” hijab.

    Women in Iran who are spotted without wearing a hijab may face serious punishments, including jail time, flogging and fines. In 1983, it became the law in Iran for women to observe Islamic dress codes.

    Since the start of the anti-government protests, about 516 protesters, including 70 children, have died, and over 19,200 people have been arrested, U.S.-based Human Rights Activists News Agency said on Monday.

    Alidoosti also reportedly got in trouble with the authorities after posting a picture of herself on Instagram in November last year. In the photo, she can be seen without a hijab and holding a piece of paper that reads, “Women, Life, Freedom” in Kurdish.

    Last month, a petition was organized to condemn the Iranian government’s arrest of Alidoosti and to ask for her freedom.

    Because of Instagram posts expressing her support for women’s rights in Iran, she was arrested and taken into custody on Dec 17th. This was a warning to public figures in Iran as part of the Iranian regime’s brutal crackdown on the nationwide Women, Life, Freedom protests. Taraneh Alidoosti is innocent and has a right to freedom of expression online,” the petition stated.

    Hundreds of local and international artists had signed the petition, some of whom include Marvel stars Mark Ruffalo, Benedict Wong, Tessa Thompson and Sir Ian McKellen, as well as British American comedian John Oliver and American actor Jason Momoa.

    Several European film festivals and organizations, such as the International Film Festival Rotterdam and the European Film Academy, also called for Alidoosti’s release.

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