Prominent Iran actress freed on bail

Actors stage silent protest without headscarves

Published: 04:23 PM, 28 Nov, 2022
Prominent Iran actress freed on bail
Caption: File photo.
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A prominent Iranian actor has been released on bail more than a week after her arrest for having supported nationwide protests, local media reported.

Hengameh Ghaziani "was released today based on an order from judicial authorities," state news agency IRNA reported late Sunday.

Tasnim news agency added that she was let out on bail.

Her release came a day after two of the most prominent figures arrested over the demonstrations -- former international footballer Voria Ghafouri and dissident Hossein Ronaghi -- were also freed on bail, reports said.

Iran's judiciary reported on November 20 that Ghaziani was among eight celebrities and politicians interrogated for their comments about the protest sparked by the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22.

Amini had been arrested for an alleged breach of Iran's strict dress rules for women.

Thousands of people have been arrested and dozens killed in connection with what Iranian officials call "riots" fomented by Western enemies.

Before her detention Ghaziani, 52, had already indicated she had been summoned by the judiciary, and then published a video on Instagram of herself removing the obligatory hijab head covering.

She is a two-time winner, in 2008 and 2012, of the best female actor award at Tehran's Fajr film festival.

State media had earlier reported that another prominent actor, Katayoun Riahi, was arrested in the same probe.

Also summoned at the same time, according to the judiciary, was Yahya Golmohammadi, coach of Persepolis FC, one of Iran's best-known football teams.

Silent protest without headscarves

A group of Iranian actors have staged a silent protest without their headscarves in a gesture of solidarity with demonstrations sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a video posted on social media showed.

The death of Amini, 22, who had been arrested by the notorious Tehran morality police, has triggered more than two months of protests which pose the biggest challenge to the clerical regime since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

In the video, the actor and director Soheila Golestani, wearing black, walks into the shot, and turns around to reveal she is wearing no headscarf. She stares into the camera.

Nine other women then join Golestani to make the same gesture, as do five men.

Golestani posted the video on her Instagram account late Sunday, writing: "The performance is over and the truth has been revealed."

"Our real heroes are the unnamed people," she added.

A constant presence in the shot is Iranian director Hamid Pourazari, who also posted the video on his Instagram account.

The Iran Wire website said all those in the video were Iranian actors. It appeared to have been shot in a park but AFP could not immediately verify the time and the place.

Several Iranian actors have during the protest movement made taboo-breaking gestures of removing their headscarves, with have been mandatory for women in public since four years after the 1979 revolution.

Earlier this month Taraneh Alidoosti, one of Iran's best-known actors remaining in the country, posted an image of herself on social media without the mandatory headscarf.

Alidoosti vowed to stay in her homeland at "any price", saying she planned to stop working and instead support the families of those killed or arrested in the protest crackdown.

Iran also arrested two prominent actors, Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi, who expressed solidarity with the protest movement and removed their headscarves in public in an apparent act of defiance.

Ghaziani has now been released on bail, state news agency IRNA reported late Sunday.

Iranian cinema figures were under pressure even before the start of the protest movement sparked by Amini's death.

Prize-winning directors Mohammad Rasoulof and Jafar Panahi remain in detention after their arrests earlier this year.

Categories : Lifestyle

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