(CTN NEWS) – DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Nearly three weeks after being imprisoned for denouncing a crackdown on anti-government protesters, Iran on Wednesday freed a well-known actress from an Oscar-winning movie, according to local sources.
Taraneh Alidoosti, the 38-year-old star of Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning 2016 film “The Salesman,” was reportedly released on bond, according to Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency.
— Anonymous (@Anonymousnn3) December 17, 2022
Her mother, Nadere Hakimelahi, had already announced on Instagram that she would be freed.
Alidoosti posed with bouquets of flowers while accompanied by friends on Wednesday following her release from Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison. Her case hasn’t received any new information.
Several Iranian celebrities, including Alidoosti, expressed their support for the widespread demonstrations and denounced the government’s repressive crackdown on dissent.
Before her account was deactivated, she had at least three Instagram posts supporting the demonstrations.
One letter expressed support for the first man to be put to death on account of the protests, which were started after a woman died while in the custody of the police and turned into widespread calls for the toppling of Iran’s governing clergy.
Since the Islamic Republic was created following the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the protests represent one of its largest difficulties.
According to rights organizations, security officers have dispersed demonstrators with batons, live bullets, bird shots, tear gas, and other weapons.
After being accused by an Iranian court of obstructing a street in Tehran and assaulting a member of the nation’s security forces with a machete, Mohsen Shekari was put to death on December 9.
Iran hanged Majidreza Rahnavard, another prisoner, by public hanging a week later. He was charged with stabbing two Basij militia members, a paramilitary group in charge of the uprising.
According to activists, at least a dozen people have received death sentences in secret trials for offences related to the demonstrations.
Before being arrested, Alidoosti posted on an account with almost 8 million followers, “His name was Mohsen Shekari.”
23-year-old Iranian protestor Majidreza Rahnavard's dying wishes–before being hanged–reflect the living wishes of so many young Iranians living under theocratic tyranny.
"Don't cry, don't read the Koran, don't pray"
"Be joyful. Play happy music"pic.twitter.com/5TMHDEW5mK
— Karim Sadjadpour (@ksadjadpour) December 15, 2022
Every international agency that witnesses the slaughter and does nothing is an embarrassment to humanity.
Whether Alidoosti has been charged with anything or whether she will go on trial is not stated in the Iranian news on her release.
It wasn’t apparent whether her release terms include any limits on where she could go.
Human Rights Activists in Iran, a group closely following the turmoil, estimates that at least 516 protesters have been killed and over 19,000 have been detained.
Iranian authorities have not released an official figure of people dead or imprisoned.
Two additional well-known Iranian actresses, Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi, were detained in November for expressing support for demonstrators on social media.
Iranian soccer star Voria Ghafouri was also detained in same month for “insulting the national soccer team and spreading propaganda against the government.” All three of them have been let go.
When Mahsa Amini, 22, died after being detained by Iran’s morality police for allegedly breaking the Islamic Republic’s strict clothing code, the protests got underway in the middle of September.
The hijab, or required Islamic head covering, has been openly removed by numerous women who have taken a prominent role in the protests.
After decades of political and social repression, the demonstrators claim they are tired.
“Death to the dictator,” referring to Iran’s 83-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has held the position for more than three decades, has been one of the key catchphrases.
Iranian authorities attribute the protests to the United States and other foreign nations.
State-affiliated media have emphasised assaults on security personnel, and authorities have severely restricted media coverage of the demonstrations, including intermittent internet outages.
In a meeting with women on Wednesday, Khamenei, who has not spoken much about the protests, discussed Islamic dress.
He stressed that while the hijab is required, those who do not “fully obey” the custom “should not be accused of being non-religious or against the revolution.”
Before the protests, many Iranian women wore the headscarf loosely, and the government occasionally relaxed its enforcement of it, especially under Hassan Rouhani, a relatively moderate president who served from 2013 to 2021.
Hard-liner Ebrahim Raisi, his successor, had taken action to tighten the regulations.
Before this year’s protests, Alidoosti has already criticized the Iranian government and its police force.
After criticizing the police on Twitter in 2018 for assaulting a woman who had taken off her headscarf, she was handed a five-month prison sentence with a five-month suspension in June 2020.
She portrayed a woman in “The Salesman” who experiences sexual assault in their apartment and loses her marriage.
The woman and her husband are cast as the lead characters in a local production of Arthur Miller’s renowned play, “Death of a Salesman,” which serves as the backdrop for the story’s development.
The Beautiful City and About Elly are two other well-known films in which Alidoosti has acted.
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