DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran released the lead actress of an Oscar-winning film on Wednesday nearly three weeks after she was jailed for criticizing anti-government protests, local reports said.

Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency said Taraneh Alidosti, 38, star of Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning “The Salesman,” was released on bail. His mother, Nadere Hakimlahi, had earlier said he would be released in a post on Instagram.

Alidosti posed with flowers among his friends after being released from Tehran’s notorious Evin prison on Wednesday. No further details about his case have been released.

were friends among many Iranian celebrities To express support for the nationwide protests and to criticize the authorities’ violent crackdown on dissent. She had posted at least three messages in support of the protest on Instagram before her account was deactivated.

expressed solidarity with a message first person to be executed The allegations are linked to the protests, which were triggered by the death of a woman in police custody and have grown into widespread calls to overthrow Iran’s ruling clerics.

Iranian lead actress Taraneh Alidosti, center, holds a bunch of flowers as she poses for a photo among her friends after her release from Evin prison in Tehran, Iran, January 4, 2023.

Gisu Faghfouri, Shargadeli, Via AP

protest sign one of the biggest challenges For the Islamic Republic since it was established after the 1979 revolution. According to rights groups, security forces have used live ammunition, bird shot, tear gas and batons to disperse the protesters.

Mohsen Shekhri was executed on 9 December after being accused by an Iranian court of blocking a road in Tehran and attacking a member of the country’s security forces with a knife. A week later, Iran executed another prisoner, Majidreza Rahnvard. by public hanging, He was accused of stabbing two members of the paramilitary Basij militia, who is leading the raid,

Activists say at least a dozen people have been sentenced to death in closed-door trials on charges related to the protests.

“His name was Mohsen Shekhri,” Alidosti wrote on an account with nearly 8 million followers before his arrest. “Every international organization that is watching this bloodshed and not taking action is a blot on humanity.”

At least 516 protesters have been killed and more than 19,000 arrested in Iran, according to human rights activists, a group that has closely monitored the unrest. Iranian officials have not given an official count of those killed or detained.

Two other famous Iranian actresses, Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayun Riahi, were arrested in November for expressing solidarity with the protesters on social media. Iranian football star Voria Ghafouri was also arrested that month on charges of “insulting the national football team and campaigning against the government”. All three have been released.

The protests began in mid-September, when 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died after being arrested by Iran’s morality police for allegedly violating the Islamic republic’s strict dress code. Women have played a prominent role in the protests, with many publicly taking off the mandatory Islamic headscarf known as the hijab.

Protesters say they are fed up with decades of political and social repression. One of the main slogans is “Death to the dictator”, referring to Iran’s 83-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has held the country’s highest office for more than three decades.

Iranian officials blamed the protests on the US and other foreign powers. State-affiliated media have highlighted attacks on security forces, while authorities have imposed heavy restrictions on coverage of the demonstrations, including periodic shutdowns of internet access.

Khamenei, who has spoken little about the protests, spoke about Islamic dress in a meeting with women on Wednesday, saying the hijab is essential, but those who do not “fully practice” it. Not to be accused of being non-religious or against the revolution.

Even before the protests, many Iranian women wore headscarves loosely, and authorities have occasionally relaxed their enforcement, especially during the presidency of Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate who has held office since 2013. Ruled till 2021. His successor, hard-liner Ibrahim Raisi, moved to tighten restrictions.

Alidosti had criticized the Iranian government and its police force before this year’s protests.

In June 2020, she was given a suspended five-month prison sentence in 2018 for assaulting a woman who had removed her headscarf after criticizing police on Twitter.

Alidosti’s other famous films include “The Beautiful City” and “About Eli”.



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