Famed Iranian Actress Arrested After Voicing Support for Protests
Taraneh Alidoosti, a prominent Iranian actress, was arrested by the local authorities on Saturday after she posted messages on social media expressing solidarity with antigovernment protests that have rocked Iran for nearly three months.
Ms. Alidoosti, 38, was arrested in connection with what state news media described as “unsubstantiated comments about recent events” and “the publication of provocative material.”
It is one of the highest-profile detentions the Iranian authorities have made in their effort to crack down on a women-led uprising that started in September. The protests were set off by the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, while in the custody of the morality police on allegations that she had violated mandatory hijab rules. Iran has faced international condemnation for its violent response to the demonstrations.
In recent weeks, Ms. Alidoosti, whose credits include the Academy Award winner “The Salesman,” drew attention after posting a photo of herself without a hijab while holding a sign signaling her support for protesters who have been calling for an end to authoritarian clerical rule in Iran.
This month, after the Iranian government announced that it had hanged Mohsen Shekari, a 23-year-old prisoner who had been arrested in the protests that have engulfed the country, Ms. Alidoosti urged people to speak out.
“Your silence means supporting oppression and oppressors,” she wrote.
As of Sunday, Ms. Alidoosti’s Instagram account appeared to have been removed from the platform, and her Twitter account appeared to be suspended. Her recent posts were no longer viewable.
In a brief Telegram post announcing Ms. Alidoosti’s arrest, the state news agency, the Islamic Republic News Agency, said Ms. Alidoosti “did not provide documentation” for some of what it described as her “claims.” She had been arrested “by order of the judicial authority,” according to the Telegram post.
The state news report also said that “a number of celebrities” had made comments similar to Ms. Alidoosti’s “in support of previous street riots.” The Telegram item said that some of them had been arrested, but did not specify anyone other than Ms. Alidoosti.
This is not the first time Ms. Alidoosti has taken a political stance. When “The Salesman” was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign-language film of 2016, Ms. Alidoosti said she would boycott the ceremony to protest then-President Trump’s travel ban on citizens from seven countries, five of them predominantly Muslim.
The film went on to win that award.