Iran Authorities Arrest 'The Salesman' Actress for Instagram Post on Protests

The actress, who has posted about the unrest on several occasions, was charged with "spreading falsehoods."

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Taraneh Alidoosti, a popular actress in Iran who has starred in the Oscar-winning movie The Salesman (2016), was arrested by the Iranian authorities, the state media said on Saturday, 17 December.

Why was she arrested? Alidoosti was arrested a week after she put up a post on Instagram, expressing solidarity with Mohsen Shekari, the first person who was executed by the regime for crimes allegedly committed during the nationwide protests.

The actress, who has posted on social media about the unrest on several occasions, was charged with "spreading falsehoods."

According to AP, in her latest post, Alidoosti said, ''His name was Mohsen Shekari. Every international organization who is watching this bloodshed and not taking action, is a disgrace to humanity." Her Instagram account has now been suspended.

Why is this important? Iran's state media IRNA reported that Alidoosti was arrested because she did not provide "any documents in line with her claims." It added that other Iranian celebrities had "been summoned by the judiciary body over publishing provocative content."

Not the first time: The actress, aged 38, was given a suspended five-month prison sentence in June 2020, after she criticised the police on Twitter in 2018 for allegedly assaulting a woman who had removed her hijab, according to AP. She is known for her performance in About Elly (2009) and Leila's Brothers (2022), among others.


Who was Mohsen Shekari? Shekari was hanged on 8 December after he was found guilty of "waging war against God" by a Revolutionary Court in Iran. The 23-year-old was accused of attacking a security officer with a knife and blocking a road in Tehran during the protests against the death of Mahsa Amini.

Last week, the authorities executed another prisoner, Majidreza Rahnavard, in connection with the protests.

(With inputs from AP.)

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