Two prominent Iranian actresses arrested as crackdown continues

Iran

Two well-known actresses of the Islamic Republic of Iran – Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi – have been arrested for ‘provocative’ social media posts and not wearing the mandatory hijabs as the crackdown on anti-hijab protesters continues in the country.

Before the arrest, Ghaziani wrote on her Instagram, “Maybe this will be my last post. From this moment on, whatever happens to me, know that as always, I am with the Iranian people until my last breath.”

Ghaziani was reportedly arrested for removing her hijab in a busy street. In a viral video, Ghaziani was seen bareheaded, facing the camera without talking. She also posted a video on Instagram of herself removing the obligatory hijab.

Last week, she also accused the Iranian government of “murdering” more than 50 children. She spoke against the regime as protests continued across the country.

Read | Iranian journalists next on target as Iran continues crackdown on protesters

Riahi was also arrested for removing her hijab. In September, she gave an interview to London-based Iran International TV without wearing a hijab. She had expressed solidarity with Iranian women and opposed the obligatory hijab.

The two actresses were detained on Sunday on the orders of Iran’s prosecutor’s office. The state-run IRNA news agency said that the two actresses were arrested after being summoned by prosecutors in a probe into their “provocative” social media posts.

Massive protests erupted in the Islamic Republic in mid-September after the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of the morality police. People demanded justice for Amini and the downfall of the regime. Huma rights activists accused the morality police of “killing” Amini. Witnesses also claimed that the morality police forcefully took Amini to the detention centre and beat her with a baton. However, the Iranian authorities describe the anti-government and anti-hijab protests as “riots” and accuse the country’s Western foes of fomenting them.

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Raven Ruma is a professional journalist with a keen eye on domestic and foreign situations. His favorite pastime is to keep the public informed about the current situation through his pen and he is fulfilling this responsibility through the platform of Arab News.

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