Iran releases on bail actors, director arrested for supporting protest movement
During the nationwide protests, several actresses have made the taboo-breaking gesture of removing their headscarves
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran released on bail Sunday two actresses and a male theatre director who were detained in November for making a video supporting the country’s protest movement, local media reported.
“Theatre director, Hamid Pourazari, and actresses Soheila Golestani and Faezeh Aeen, were released on Sunday evening,” the ISNA news agency said.
Iran has seen nearly three months of protests and unrest following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman of Kurdish origin, after her arrest for an alleged breach of Iran’s dress code for women.
On November 30, rights groups announced the arrest of Pourazari and Golestani following the release of a video in which ten women and six men from Iran’s film and theatre industries stood silently in turn in front of the camera.
None of the women in the viral video wore head coverings, which “broke the law,” according to ISNA.
During the protests several Iranian actors have made the taboo-breaking gesture of removing their headscarves, which are mandatory for women in the Islamic Republic.
Incredible! Soheila Golestani (actress) published this video (without a headscarf) on her Instagram, & Hamid Pourazaei (director) & a group of Iranian actors/actresses & theatre/movie professionals joined them. Courage & resilience! #MahsaAmini #مهسا_امینی #IranRevoIution #Iran pic.twitter.com/FpbpsOJVTR
— Omid Memarian (@Omid_M) November 27, 2022
Authorities have reported thousands of arrests in connection with the protests — including film, political and sporting personalities.
Some prominent detainees have been released.
Iranian cinema figures were under pressure even before the start of the protest movement sparked by Amini’s death.
Prize-winning directors Mohammad Rasoulof and Jafar Panahi remain in detention after their arrests earlier this year.