Iranian actors stage silent protest without headscarves

Published November 29, 2022
This screengrab shows several Iranian actors staging a silent protest without headscarves. — Photo courtesy Omid Memarian's Twitter
This screengrab shows several Iranian actors staging a silent protest without headscarves. — Photo courtesy Omid Memarian's Twitter

PARIS: A group of Iranian actors have staged a silent protest without their headscarves in a gesture of solidarity with demonstrations sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a video posted on social media showed.

The death of Amini, 22, who had been arrested by the Tehran morality police, has triggered more than two months of protests which pose the biggest challenge to the clerical regime since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

In the video, the actor and director Soheila Golestani, wearing black, walks into the shot, and turns around to reveal she is wearing no headscarf. She stares into the camera.

Nine other women then join Golestani to make the same gesture, as do five men.

Golestani posted the video on her Instagram account late on Sunday, writing: “The performance is over and the truth has been revealed. Our real heroes are the unnamed people.”

A constant presence in the shot is Iranian director Hamid Pourazari, who also posted the video on his Instagram account.

The Iran Wire website said all those in the video were Iranian actors. It appeared to have been shot in a park but AFP could not immediately verify the time and the place.

Several Iranian actors have during the protest movement made taboo-breaking gestures of removing their headscarves, with have been mandatory for women in public since four years after the 1979 revolution.

Earlier this month Taraneh Alidoosti, one of Iran’s best-known actors remaining in the country, posted an image of herself on social media without the mandatory headscarf.

Alidoosti vowed to stay in her homeland at “any price”, saying she planned to stop working and instead support the families of those killed or arrested in the protest crackdown.

Iran also arrested two prominent actors, Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi, who expressed solidarity with the protest movement and removed their headscarves in public in an apparent act of defiance.

Ghaziani has now been released on bail, state news agency IRNA reported late on Sunday.

Iranian cinema figures were under pressure even before the start of the protest movement sparked by Amini’s death. Prize-winning directors Mohammad Rasoulof and Jafar Panahi remain in detention after their arrests earlier this year.

Militia member shot dead

A member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards militia was shot dead on Monday, the Guards said, as the Islamic republic has been gripped by more than two months of protest.

An investigation is underway to identify the perpetrators of the attack in the central city of Isfahan, said deputy local governor Mohammad-Reza Jannessari, the IRNA news agency reported.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said in a statement the man was killed in “a terrorist action carried out by mercenaries of the global arrogance”, a term used for the United States and its allies. It said the man was a member of the IRGC Basij militia.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2022

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