'This May Be My Last Post,' Iran Film Star Says Before Arrest

Tehran is targeting prominent protest supporters
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2022 1:53 PM CST
Iran Arrests 2 Film Stars Who Removed Hijabs at Protests
Hengameh Ghaziani at a 2018 film festival.   (Wikipedia/MojNews)

Two prominent Iranian actors have been arrested for supporting anti-government protests and removing their headscarves during demonstrations. According to state-run media, Hengameh Ghaziani, 52, and Katayoun Riahi, 60, are accused of "collusion with the intention of acting against the state security," the BBC reports. Both women have won multiple awards for their contributions to Iranian cinema. Iranian authorities have been targeting artists, musicians, journalists, and other high-profile citizens for their support of the protests that began in mid-September, reports the New York Times.

Iranian authorities say five "movie personalities" were among those summoned to a prosecutor's office Saturday for "publication of provocative material in support of street riots." Ghaziani and Riahi were detained Sunday, according to state media. Ghaziani denounced the crackdown in an Instagram post Saturday. "How many children, teenagers, and young people have you killed—is it not enough with the bloodshed?” she said, per the Times. "I hate you, and your historical reputation," she said, adding, "This may be my last post." Human rights groups say more than 450 people have been killed in protests since mid-September.

In a post on Sunday, hours before her arrest, Ghaziani spoke on a Tehran street, not wearing the mandatory head covering. "From this moment on, whatever happens to me, know that I will be with the people of Iran until my last breath," she said. Iranian's national soccer team and its fans also appeared defiant before their opening game in the World Cup on Monday, the Guardian reports. None of the players sang the national anthem at the start of the match against England. The anthem was booed by many Iranian crowd members. Some of them held placards reading, "Women, life, and freedom." (Read more Iran stories.)

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