On Sunday, Iranian security forces arrested actresses Katayoun Riahi and Hengama Ghaziani, after they took off their headscarves in public in support of the protest movement that erupted in Iran following the death of the young woman, Mahsa Amini, during her arrest, according to state media on Sunday.
The official Iranian news agency, IRNA, reported that Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi were arrested after being summoned for interrogation over their “provocative” social media posts and media activities.
Iran has been witnessing a wave of protests since Amini’s death on September 16, three days after her arrest by the morality police, who accused her of violating the country’s strict dress code.
And IRNA reported that Ghaziani was arrested on charges of inciting and supporting “riots” and communicating with opposition media. The actress had previously indicated that the judiciary had summoned her, and then posted a video clip on Instagram in which she removed the obligatory veil.
“This may be my last message,” she wrote late Saturday, adding, “From now on, whatever happens to me, know that, as always, I am with the Iranian people until my last breath.”
The video, which appears to be filmed on a commercial street, shows Ghaziani without a headscarf in front of the camera, without speaking, then turning around and putting her hair up in a ponytail, as other women do before going to protest.
In recent weeks, the 52-year-old actress has sharply criticized the crackdown on the protest movement, accusing the authorities of killing children and young people during the demonstrations.
On Sunday, the Iranian judiciary announced the summons of Ghaziani, along with seven well-known cinematic, political and sports personalities, for publishing “provocative” content in support of the protest movement, the judiciary announced.
As for actress Katayoun Riahi, 60, she was detained later in the same case. The actress has starred in a number of award-winning films and is also known for her philanthropic work.
In September, Riahi gave an interview to London-based Iran International TV, without wearing a headscarf. She expressed her solidarity with the protests in the country since Amini’s death and her opposition to imposing the veil.
Among the personalities summoned by the judiciary were also the Persepolis football club coach, Yahya Gul Mohammadi, and the two former reformist MPs, Mahmoud Sadeghi and Parwaneh Salahshouri.
Last week, Mohammadi criticized the national team players for “not raising the voice of the oppressed people to the ears of the authorities,” after the Iranian national team met with President Ebrahim Raisi.
For their part, the two former MPs publicly supported the protest movement, especially via Twitter, condemning the government’s use of force against the demonstrators.