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Iranian Officials Arrest 2 Prominent Actors for Protesting Without Headscarves

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A pair of prominent Iranian actors, Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi, have been arrested and imprisoned after publicly protesting the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini without their headscarves, according to the BBC.

Amini died in a coma after being arrested for allegedly violating hijab rules in Tehran last September, with her death sparking nationwide protests and subsequent retaliation. Ghaziani and Riahi have been accused of collusion and acting against Iran’s authorities, the state-run IRNA news agency said. They were both summoned by the country’s prosecutors over “provocative” social media posts.

Ghaziani, who is known for films including As Simple as That and Days of Life, posted a video of herself on the street without her hijab on the day of her arrest. “Maybe this will be my last post,” she wrote on Instagram. “From this moment on, whatever happens to me, know that as always, I am with Iranian people until my last breath.”


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A post shared by Hengameh Ghaziani (@hengamehghaziani)

Detained during the same probe, Riahi, who won the best actress award at the Cairo Film Festival for 2002’s The Last Supper, posted a photo of herself without a headscarf weeks ago, writing, “Mourning the women of Iran.” She also publicly appeared without her head covering during an interview with Iran International in mid-September. The Iranian government also summoned and questioned Yahya Golmohammadi, a former member of Iran’s national soccer team, with the team currently convening in Qatar for the World Cup.

According to nonprofit organization Iran Human Rights, the ongoing nationwide demonstrations have led to the deaths of at least 378 people, including 47 children, at the hands of national security forces.

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