Iran: supported by the 7th art, actress Taraneh Alidoosti released in Tehran

He is arguably the most high-profile figure to be arrested for supporting the protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini on September 16. Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti was released on bail on Wednesday after three weeks in detention, according to her lawyer Zahra Minooee.

Held in Tehran’s Evin prison since December 17, Taraneh Alidoosti, 38, has published several messages on social networks showing his support for the protest movement. Some were accompanied by photos in which she did not wear a headscarf and condemned the execution of demonstrators.

Photos posted on Twitter showed her bareheaded, without a headscarf, carrying a bouquet and talking on the phone as she was released from prison.

Taraneh Alidoosti. WANA via REUTERS/Sharghdaily: Gisoo Faghfoori.

Friends and colleagues were waiting for him when he was released from prison. Among them, prominent figures in Iranian cinema include directors Mani Haghighi and Saeed Roustayi.

“Without the veil in the post-release photos”

Another photo shows him in a car sticking out his tongue and making a V for victory with his finger. British actress of Iranian origin Nazanin Boniadi welcomed the fact that her partner had appeared “boldly without the mandatory veil in photographs after her release”.

Taraneh Alidoosti is known for starring in award-winning films by director Asghar Farhadi, including “The Client”, the 2017 Oscar for best foreign language film. He also starred in Saeed Roustayi’s film “Leila and her brothers”, presented this year at the Film Festival Cannes. She welcomed her release in a tweet accompanied by a photo of herself without a veil. “Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti has been released after three weeks in detention: what a joy and a relief! Let’s stay involved! “, he wrote.

Nearly 500 other film personalities and professionals, such as French actress Marion Cotillard or Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, had called in December in an open letter to release him immediately.

Emma Thompson, Golshifteh Farahani, Kristen Stewart, Jeremy Irons and Mark Ruffalo among others felt that the timing of his arrest, just before Christmas, was to “distract his international colleagues”. “But we weren’t bothered. We are furious,” they said in the letter.

Taraneh was arrested because Instagram condemned the execution of 23-year-old Mohsen Shekari, the first protester to be sentenced to death since the nationwide protests began following the brutal police killing of Iranian Kurdish Mahsa Amini in September,” they added. “Like all Iranian citizens, he has the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention. We stand in solidarity and demand his immediate release,” they added.

“Women, life, freedom”

Since her arrest, the actress’ Instagram account, followed by more than 8 million people, remains inaccessible. “Your silence means you support oppression and oppressors,” he said in his last post on social media, on the day Mohsen Shekari, 23, became the first protester executed by Iranian authorities. He also announced that he did not want to leave Iran, saying he was ready to “pay any price for (his) rights”.

On 9 November, she posted a photo of herself without a veil, with a sign reading “Women, life, freedom”, the main slogan of the demonstrations. According to the judicial news agency Mizan Online, the actress has been arrested “by order of the judicial authorities” because she “did not provide evidence regarding some of her statements” regarding the protests.

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