Iranian officials have arrested two of its prominent actors, Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi, for removing their headscarves and publicly supporting anti-government protests. Meanwhile, Iranians took the protests to Qatar as they booed their country’s national anthem at the team’s opening match against England today.
Iran has experienced widespread protests in recent months over the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old who was arrested by the morality police after being accused of wearing her hijab inappropriately.
Ghaziani and Riahi were detained when they appeared in public without their headscarves on November 20th, The Guardian reports. Before her arrest, Ghaziani wrote on social media, “whatever happens, know that as always, I will stand with the people of Iran.” She added: “This may be my last post.”
In a show of solidarity with protestors, the players on Iran’s national team refused to sing the national anthem at Doha’s Khalifa Stadium on Monday, while boos rang out during the rendition from those in the stands holding banners and wearing T-shirts reading “women, life, freedom.”
The signs bore the colours of the Iranian flag, with at least one made to appear drenched in blood – echoing the death of Amini and the brutal retaliation to the protests.
While one woman demonstrating at the match in Qatar appeared to be holding a banner featuring the faces of young people killed in the demonstrations.
At least 410 protestors have been killed in the demonstrations in Iran as of November 19th in the Khamenei administration-led crackdown on protests, said Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), a collective of Iranian human rights advocates in Iran. The death toll includes 58 minors, it said. Another 54 members of the security forces were also killed, while authorities have arrested more than 17,251 people so far.
Ghaziani and Riahi aren’t the only celebrities supporting anti-government protests. Earlier this month, Iranian actor Taraneh Alidoosti posted an image of herself without a headscarf to show solidarity with anti-government demonstrations. “Your last absence, the migration of singing birds, is not the end of this rebellion,” Alidoosti wrote in the caption.
Last month, Tehran-born Indian actor Elnaaz Norouzi also joined the protest against Iran’s morality police by taking her clothes off one at a time in an Instagram video. The 30-year-old actor started by taking off her hijab, followed by her burqa and the rest of her clothes.