Iran releases actress of Oscar-winning film jailed for supporting anti-government protests


Iran released award-winning actress Taraneh Alidoosti on Wednesday, nearly three weeks after she was jailed for expressing support for anti-government protests.

Alidoosti, one of the country’s most prominent stage and film actors, is best known internationally for her role in “The Salesman,” the Asghar Farhadi-directed film that won the Academy Award for best foreign language film in 2016.

She was arrested on Dec. 17 on charges of spreading falsehoods about the anti-government protests that have engulfed the country for the past four months, according to state media.

On Wednesday, the Iranian Students’ News Agency reported Alidoosti had been released on bail. Her mother, Nadere Hakimelahi, also posted about her release on social media.

Alidoosti was detained just days after criticizing the state for executing a man for crimes he had allegedly committed during the demonstrations.

″His name was Mohsen Shekari,” she wrote to her 8 million followers on her since-disabled Instagram account last month. “Every international organization who is watching this bloodshed and not taking action, is a disgrace to humanity.”

Shekari was arrested in late September and executed on Dec. 8. The 23-year-old became the first known person executed in connection with the recent wave of protests.

Alidoosti also shared a photo on the platform in which she posed without a hijab. The head covering is mandatory for women in the country.

The 38-year-old star was holding a sign that read “Woman, Life, Freedom,” a slogan that has come to symbolize the wave of protests that have rocked Iran since September.

After her release on Wednesday, the influential actress and activist posed for photos surrounded by friends — holding flowers and wearing no hijab — outside a jail in Tehran.

Alidoosti is one of several high-profile celebrities who are expressing support for the protests, which were sparked by the death of an Iranian Kurdish woman in September.

Mahsa Amini, 22, died after she was arrested by Iran’s morality police for allegedly violating the country’s dress code. Her death sparked protests across Iran, which have been met with a “deadly crackdown,” according to Amnesty International.

The Human Rights Activists News Agency reported Tuesday that the demonstrations have led to 516 deaths, including 70 children, and more than 19,000 arrests.

Iranian authorities haven’t provided any information on the number of people killed, injured, or arrested in the protests.

With News Wire Services


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