Iranian actress jailed for supporting protests is released
Iranian authorities released actress Taraneh Alidoosti on bail Wednesday, several weeks after she had been arrested for criticizing the government's crackdown on anti-government protests.
Driving the news: Alidoosti, who starred in Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning 2016 film “The Salesman,” was arrested on Dec. 17 following several social media posts expressing solidarity with the protesters and condemning the government's actions, Reuters reported.
- In an Instagram post in November, Alidoosti posted a photo of herself without wearing the mandatory hijab and holding a sign with the protesters' slogan of "woman, life, freedom" written in Kurdish.
- In another Instagram post before her account was disabled, Alidoosti expressed solidarity with Mohsen Shekari, who was executed by the authorities on Dec. 8 in the first known execution in response to the protests.
- "His name was Mohsen Shekari,” Alidoosti wrote, AP reported. “Every international organization who is watching this bloodshed and not taking action, is a disgrace to humanity.”
The big picture: The protests began in mid-September in response to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iranian authorities, prompting some of the largest anti-government protests in years.
- Alidoosti was initially arrested for “lack of evidence for her claims” in connection to her post about Shekari, per CNN.
- “Today, my client Ms Taraneh Alidoosti will be released from Evin prison after posting bail," her attorney, Zahra Minooei, wrote on Twitter, the Guardian reported.
- Iranian media reports did not specify whether Alidoosti has been charged with a crime or whether she will have to stand trial, AP reported.
- Iranian authorities have arrested celebrities who have supported the protests, including fellow actresses Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi.
State of play: Photos circulated on social media Wednesday of Alidoosti posing in front of Iran's notorious Evin prison, holding a bouquet of flowers and surrounded by supporters.
- At least 516 protesters have been killed and more than 19,000 arrested, according to the Human Rights Activists News Agency.
- Nearly 600 international actors, directors and other artists had signed an open letter calling for Alidoosti's release.