Iran Releases Oscar-Winning Film Actress Arrested For Supporting Protests


Iranian authorities released Taraneh Alidoosti, the star of the 2016 Oscar-winning film The Salesman, on Wednesday, three weeks after the actress was jailed for supporting protests against the Iran government.

Key Facts

The semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported Wednesday that Alidoosti had been released on bail, according to multiple outlets.

The group Human Rights Activists in Iran tweeted an image of Alidoosti, who is seen holding flowers while surrounded by colleagues and friends after she was released.

Nadere Hakimelahi, Alidoosti’s mother, had previously posted two images of Alidoosti to Instagram supporting her daughter while suggesting she would be released.

Alidoosti was arrested on charges of spreading falsehoods on December 17 after she posted an image to her since-deleted Instagram account criticizing the execution of Mohsen Shekari, who officials claimed blocked a street and attacked a security official with a machete—charges his family has disputed.

Crucial Quote

“His name was Mohsen Shekari,” Alidoosti wrote on Instagram, according to the Associated Press, adding “every international organization who is watching this bloodshed and not taking action is a disgrace to humanity.”

Key Background

Protests against the Iranian government began in September after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody after being arrested for allegedly disobeying Iran’s strict dress code. Amini reportedly died as a result of being severely beaten, though officials have claimed her cause of death was a heart attack. Subsequent protests have resulted in the deaths of at least 516 protestors, according to Human Rights Activists’ News Agency, in addition to the arrest of 19,250 more. As the protests have garnered more international attention, complemented by Alidoosti’s high-profile protest, Iran reportedly disbanded its morality police and is considering lifting its requirements for women to wear hijabs.

What To Watch For

Iranian soccer star Amir Nasr-Azadani, who was featured alongside his teammates at the recent World Cup refusing to sing Iran’s national anthem in support of protests, has been charged with rioting against authorities, according to CNN. Nasr-Azadani, who has since been arrested, faces the death penalty.

Further Reading

Iran Arrests Famous Actress Who Called Execution ‘Disgrace To Humanity’ (Forbes)