Iran has arrested two prominent actresses for not wearing headscarves in public as a demonstration amid ongoing protests, according to multiple reports citing state media.
The New York Times reports that award-winning actresses Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayon Riahi have been arrested over their protests, on suspicion of “collusion with intent to act against state security” and “propaganda against the state.” The article was quoted by Iran’s state-run news agency, IRNA.
Ghaziani, 52, on Sunday posted a video to her Instagram account of herself standing on a public sidewalk without a headscarf – a requirement for women in Iran. She then faces the camera before turning to put her hair into a ponytail.
“This may be my last post,” she wrote. “From this moment on, whatever happens to me, I know that as always, I am with the Iranian people until my last breath.”
She and Riahi, 60, wrote social media posts criticizing the government’s violent response to the protests that have raged in the country since the death of 22-year-old Mohsa Amini, who was arrested according to the country’s morals in September. police for not wearing a headscarf as per government standards and she died in custody several days later.
“Don’t you see what is happening to Iranian children and youth?” My winds shared a post by the non-profit charities COMAC. “Know that they are beaten, interrogated and tortured in their schools.”
In Ghaziani’s video, it included a portrait drawn by Saba Soleimani of 9-year-old Kian Pervalak, who his family says was killed by state security forces and is believed to be the youngest to die amid the ongoing crackdown on protesters.
Iranian courts have already sentenced at least five protesters to death for participating in demonstrations. Critics have described the trials as unfair, given the lack of clear legal representation, according to the BBC.
As of early November, at least 328 people have been killed and 14,825 arrested in the unrest, according to Human Rights Activists in Iran, a group that has been monitoring the protests for two months.
Even as Iranian officials tighten their grip on those who express dissent, members of Iran’s national soccer team on Monday stood silently as they sang the national anthem ahead of their World Cup match against England. The players’ arms were on each other’s shoulders, and they did not sing the song. Loud boos were heard during the anthem from a large group of the team’s fans at Khalifa International Stadium, some of whom were carrying banners reading “Women, Life and Freedom”.
Iran’s captain, Ehsan Hejjasafi, had said a day before the match that “we have to accept that the conditions in our country are not right and our people are not happy.”