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Prominent Iran actress arrested for supporting protests is freed on bail – reports

Following a summons by the judiciary for backing rights demonstrations, Hengameh Ghaziani, 52, published video of herself removing hijab in anti-regime gesture

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, February 3, 2016. (ATTA KENARE / AFP)
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, February 3, 2016. (ATTA KENARE / AFP)

TEHRAN, Iran — A prominent Iranian actor has been released on bail more than a week after her arrest for having supported nationwide protests, local media reported.

Hengameh Ghaziani “was released today based on an order from judicial authorities,” state news agency IRNA reported late Sunday.

Tasnim news agency added that she was let out on bail.

Her release came a day after two of the most prominent figures arrested over the demonstrations — former international footballer Voria Ghafouri and dissident Hossein Ronaghi — were also freed on bail, reports said.

Iran’s judiciary reported on November 20 that Ghaziani was among eight celebrities and politicians interrogated for their comments about the protest sparked by the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22.

Amini had been arrested for an alleged breach of Iran’s strict dress rules for women.

Thousands of people have been arrested and dozens killed in connection with what Iranian officials call “riots” fomented by Western enemies.

Before her detention Ghaziani, 52, had already indicated she had been summoned by the judiciary and then published a video on Instagram of herself removing the obligatory hijab head covering.

She is a two-time winner, in 2008 and 2012, of the best female actor award at Tehran’s Fajr film festival.

State media had earlier reported that another prominent actor, Katayoun Riahi, was arrested in the same probe.

Also summoned at the same time, according to the judiciary, was Yahya Golmohammadi, coach of Persepolis FC, one of Iran’s best-known football teams.

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