Top Iranian actress arrested after criticism of death penalty

Taraneh Alidoosti, one of Iran’s most famous actors, has been arrested by security forces in Tehran days after she criticised the state’s use of the death penalty against protesters, local media reported.

She had previously posted a picture of herself on her Instagram page in which she was not wearing the hijab and holding a piece of paper reading “women, life, freedom” – the slogan that has come to encapsulate the fight against the current Iranian regime.

Alidoosti is regarded as one of the most influential Iranian actors of her generation, and her arrest is a sign that the state wants to crack down on celebrities, artists and sports personalities who have used

their platform to challenge the regime, The Guardian reported.

It is not known which department of Iran’s multilayered security services took her from her home, but the Tehran prosecutor’s office alleged Alidoosti had failed to provide documentation to justify her provocative remarks. News of her arrest was conveyed by Samia Mirshamsi, a film director.

Mirshamsi said Alidoosti’s home had been searched and it was not known where she was. Later, the judicial news agency Mizan confirmed Alidoosti’s arrest, saying her case was being investigated further.

Alidoosti has won multiple awards in her career, most notably when ‘The Salesman’, in which she starred, won an Oscar for best foreign film in 2016, The Guardian reported.

The Tasnim news agency, which is close to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, said she had been arrested due to her decision to publish false and distorted content that incited riots and supported anti-Iranian movements.

The picture of Alidoosti without a hijab has been liked more than 1 million times. It appeared that her Instagram account, which had more than 8 million followers, had been shut down. In her last Instagram post, the actor said: “His name was Mohsen Shekari. Every international organisation who is watching this bloodshed and not taking action, is a disgrace to humanity.”

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