Iranian actors arrested for public removal of headscarves

Iranian actors arrested for public removal of headscarves
Iranian actress Hengameh Ghaziani poses upon her arrival for a screening during the 34th edition of the Fajr Film Festival at the Milad Tower in Tehran on on February 3, 2016. (AFP/File)
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Updated 22 November 2022

Iranian actors arrested for public removal of headscarves

Iranian actors arrested for public removal of headscarves
  • Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi are among those detained for supporting protests

DUBAI: Iranian actors Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi have been arrested by authorities in Iran after they removed their headscarves in public.

The removal of the headscarf was to support protests in Iran, calling for freedom for women, following the death of Mahsa Amini in September.

The two award-winning actors have been detained and accused of collusion and acting against Iran’s authorities, according to multiple media reports.

Ghaziani is known for films such as “As Simple as That,” “Days of Life,” and “Rabidity.”

In an Instagram post on Sunday, Ghaziani said: “Maybe this will be my last post. From this moment on, whatever happens to me, know that as always, I am with Iranian people until my last breath.”

Riahi, who is also the founder and CEO of the Komak Charity Foundation and an ambassador of the Mehrafarin Foundation in Iran, is known for shows such as “Days of Life” and “After the Rain,” and movies such as “The Last Supper” and “This Woman Won’t Talk.”

Riahi appeared without her hijab in an interview with Iran International TV in September.

Other actors including Mitra Hajjar and Baran Kosar were also summoned on Sunday, according to Mizan Online.

The actors are not alone in facing the wrath of Iranian authorities.

Last month, Iranian filmmaker Mani Haghighi was prevented from leaving Iran to attend the BFI London Film Festival, where his latest film “Subtraction” was being screened.

In July, acclaimed director Jafar Panahi was forced to serve a six-year jail sentence that had been handed down a decade ago, after he attempted to find information about fellow filmmakers Mohammad Rasoulof and Mostafa Aleahmad, who had been detained earlier.

At least 378 people, including 47 children and 27 women, have been killed by security forces during the protests, according to the non-profit Iran Human Rights.

“Based on our information, the killing of protesters were committed exclusively by the Islamic Republic’s repressive forces. The responsibility for the killing of protesters rests solely with the Islamic Republic and its leader, Ali Khamenei,” said director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam.

The UN Human Rights Council is holding a special session on Nov. 24 to address the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran.