Taraneh Alidoosti Arrested After Posting Photo in Solidarity With Iranian Protesters

In a statement released by the Islamic Republic News Agency on Saturday, December 17th, state media confirmed the arrest of Taraneh Alidoosti – one of Iran’s most prominent and popular actresses – on “charges of spreading falsehoods about nationwide protests,” according to the Associated Press

The news comes just one week after the famed actress posted a photo in solidarity with the thousands of protesters speaking out against the Iranian government – more specifically, the first protester that was executed. She was allegedly arrested for not providing ‘any documents in line with her claims’ in the post.

Taraneh Alidoosti is best known for her role as Rana in the 2016 international film titled The Salesman. The film won the Best Foreign Language Film Award at the 89th Academy Awards – the third time one of her films was nominated for the award. She was featured in three Iranian films this year (2022) alone. 

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The Instagram post in question was posted in solidarity with Mohsen Shekari – a 23-year-old who was executed for attacking a pro-regime militia member. ″His name was Mohsen Shekari. Every international organization who is watching this bloodshed and not taking action is a disgrace to humanity,” she wrote.

In the days since the post was published, Taraneh Alidoosti has seen her Instagram account deactivated and her Twitter account suspended for the so-called ‘false claims.’ As one of Iran’s most accomplished and well-known actresses, Alidoosti had more than eight million followers at the time of her deactivation.

The Iranian community has been in shambles since the death of a 22-year-old woman named Mahsa Amini, who was killed while being detained for improperly wearing her hijab. Her death has highlighted what has been years of human rights violations and mistreatment of women by the Iranian government. 

Taraneh has been candid in the past about the protests happening across the country – previously posting a photo of her without her hijab and captioning the photo ‘Woman, Freedom, Life.’ She was also adamant about not fleeing her country and staying in Iran ‘at any cost,’ despite the increasing risks. 

Taraneh Alidoosti Isn’t the Only Iranian Figure to be Arrested

As protests continue throughout the country, more and more arrests – and even executions – are being reported. Believe it or not, Taraneh Alidoosti isn’t the only high-profile celebrity facing the consequences. There have been dozens of influential figures arrested, detained, and jailed in the past few months. 

Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi are two other famous Iranian actresses who have been arrested over the past few months – both of them for showing solidarity with the active protesters on their social media. An Iranian soccer player, Voria Ghafouri, was also arrested for insulting the national team.

And while the execution of Shekari rocked the community and was met with heavy criticism worldwide, the Iranian government doubled down and executed a second person named Majidreza Rahnavard last week. To make matters worse, the prisoner’s body was found hanging from a construction cane. 

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All in all, the media is reporting nearly 500 protestors killed (including 68 children) and more than 18,000 arrests since the protests began in September. And the executions are nowhere near complete with nine other prisoners being sentenced to death recently and dozens of others facing possible execution.

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