Two prominent Iranian actresses, Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi, were detained on Sunday (November 20) for their support of the anti-government protests.
Shortly before the arrest, Hengameh had posted a message of solidarity, saying, “whatever happens, know I will always stand with the people of Iran.”
It comes in light of the recent protests against the government in an apparent act of defiance and subsequent crackdowns by the regime.
Both actresses appeared in public without headscarves, which has become a common expression of resistance against the government and support with the protests that broke out across Iran after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi Arrested For Not Wearing Hijab, Where Are They Now?
The state-run IRNA news agency said that prosecutors summoned and detained both Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi in a probe into their “provocative” social media posts and activities.
They were reportedly accused of collaborating and acting against the country’s authorities and are currently in custody.
Hengameh Ghaziani, a vocal critic of the crackdown on protesters, was arrested for supporting and inciting the “riots” and for corresponding with opposition media, IRNA said.
The 52-year-old movie Actress published a video on Instagram of herself removing the mandatory hijab. The footage shows Hengameh bareheaded facing the camera without a word and then turning around and tying her hair into a ponytail.
“Maybe this will be my last post,” Hengameh wrote late Saturday. She added that whatever would happen to her, she would always be with the Iranian people “until my last breath.”
Also, in a post last week, she accused the “child-killer” Iranian government of “murdering” over 50 children.
Likewise, 60-year-old Actress, Katayoun Riahi was later arrested in the same investigation for an interview she gave in September without wearing a hijab to London-based Iran International TV, an outlet hated by the regime.
There Have Been A Series Of High-Profile Arrests In Iran
The country’s clerical leadership has been shaken by over two months of women-led demonstrations instigated by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old lady of Kurdish origin.
Morality Police had detained her in Tehran for allegedly not wearing her headscarf properly. She died three days later from apparent beatings.
Her death sparked mass protests, which Iranian authorities handled with more Police brutality. Human rights groups stated that almost 400 demonstrators had been killed and over 16,000 arrested in a crackdown by security forces.
Authorities in the Islamic republic cite the protests as “riots” and accuse the nation’s Western enemies of fomenting them. They blame the U.S. and opposition groups in Iraqi Kurdistan for orchestrating the “turmoil.”
Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi were among a long list of people summoned by prosecutors over “provocative” things posted on social media.
It also included Yahya Golmohammadi, the Tehran football team Persepolis FC coach, and other prominent actors, including Mitra Hajjar and Baran Kosari.
Earlier this month, another Actor Taraneh Alidoosti posted an image of herself without the mandatory headscarf. She vowed to stay in her homeland at “any price” and support the families of those arrested or killed in the protest crackdown.
Iranian cinema personalities were already under pressure before the start of the protest movement. Award-winning directors Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof were arrested earlier this year.
Earlier on Thursday, protesters set Fire to the old residence of the Islamic Republic’s founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Khomein, Iran.