Two Iranian actresses are arrested as the authorities intensify their crackdown on anti-regime demonstrators


The security forces arrested two well-known Iranian actresses after they showed their support for the protest movement sweeping the country, while the authorities intensified their crackdown on opponents.

Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayon Riahi were arrested on two separate occasions for their public support for protests across the country, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

Since September, the country has witnessed widespread demonstrations, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mohsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s morality police. Amini, an Iranian Kurdish woman, died after being arrested for allegedly not wearing a headscarf properly.

The Tasnim news agency reported that Iranian security forces arrested Riahi on Sunday. The artist, who was famous for her roles in the TV series “Youssef the Prophet” and “The Tenth Night”, as well as films such as “The Last Supper”, had posted a video of her without a veil on her Instagram account. September 18 – two days after Amini’s death.

In a separate incident, Ghaziani, who is known in Iran for appearing in films such as “Simple Like This” and “Days of Life,” posted a video on her Instagram account on Saturday, which showed the Iranian actress in public without a headscarf. , and tied her loose hair in a ponytail.

“This may be my last post. From this moment on, if anything happens to me, know that I will always be with the people of Iran until my last breath,” she said in the caption.

Security forces arrested Ghaziani in possession of a court order just one day after the video was published, according to Tasnim news agency.

After that, she was brought to the Public Prosecutor’s Office and charged with acting against Iranian security and participating in propaganda activities directed against the Iranian regime, according to the state-affiliated Fars News Agency.

On Sunday, the Iranian judiciary said it had sentenced a sixth person accused of participating in the recent protests to death, according to the Tasnim news agency.

The agency said, quoting the Iranian judiciary, that a demonstrator who blocked traffic during a recent protest on Sattar Khan Street in Tehran and clashed with members of the Basij militia, was sentenced to death.

Tasnim added that all death sentences issued are “preliminary and can be appealed” in Iran’s appeals court.

At least 378 people have been killed by Iranian security forces in total, including 47 children killed in the country since September, according to Iranian human rights on Saturday.

CNN cannot independently verify the death toll—it is impossible for anyone outside the Iranian government to confirm it—and opposition groups, international rights organizations, and local journalists have given different estimates.

Four Kurdish cities in Iran have seen particularly violent clashes in recent days, with 13 people killed in the past 24 hours, activist Azin Sheikhi of the Norway-based Hengau Human Rights Organization told CNN on Monday.

Victims were recorded in Kermanshah Province, West Azerbaijan Province, and Kurdistan Province — where the majority of Iran’s Kurdish population resides — according to Hengao.

Sheikhi added that the death toll since Tuesday last week rose to 41 in Kurdish cities.

Amini's killing shed light on the historical grievances of Iran's Kurdish minorities.

An Iranian MP representing Mahabad, which was the capital of a short-lived breakaway Kurdish republic in northwest Iran in 1946, said at least 11 people were killed in the city alone.

Jalal Mahmoudzadeh was quoted in a reformist media outlet as saying that it was unclear whether the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – the military wing of Iran’s elite – was part of the security forces carrying out repression in Mahabad, but he had written a letter to senior military officials asking them to do so. . calm the situation.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard issued a statement on Sunday saying it was “strengthening its forces” at a base in northwest Iran to deal with “terrorists and separatists,” according to a statement released by pro-state media.

The reported death toll followed comments from Hengaw to CNN over the weekend that the “brutality” of regime forces had “increased dramatically” against protesters in the past few days.

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