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CAIRO (AP) — Iranian authorities have arrested one of the country’s most popular actresses on charges of spreading falsehoods about the country’s nationwide protests, state media reported Saturday.

An IRNA report said Oscar-winning “The Salesman” star Tarane Alidoste was arrested a week after he posted an Instagram post expressing solidarity with the first person recently executed for crimes allegedly committed during nationwide protests.

IRNA also reported that several other Iranian celebrities were “summoned by the judiciary for publishing provocative content.”

According to a report published on the official Telegram channel of the state media, Alidoste was arrested because he did not present “any documents that correspond to his claims”.

In her post, the 38-year-old actress said: “His name was Mohsen Shekari. Any international organization that watches this bloodshed and does not take action is a disgrace to humanity.”

Shekari was executed on December 9 after an Iranian court accused him of blocking a street in Tehran and attacking a representative of the country’s security forces with a machete.

Last week, Iran executed a second prisoner, Majidreza Rahnavardi, in connection with the protests. The conductor’s body was left hanging from a construction crane as a dire warning to others. Iranian authorities claim that Rahnavard stabbed two members of his paramilitary forces.

Both men were executed a month after they were indicted, underscoring the speed with which Iran now carries out death sentences for alleged crimes related to the protests. Activists say at least a dozen people were sentenced to death in closed-door hearings.

Alidoosty has made at least three posts on his Instagram page informing protesters since the protests erupted in September. His account, which had nearly 8 million followers, was suspended.

Protests erupted in Iran on September 16 following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died after being detained by morality police. The protests have since become one of the most serious challenges to Iran’s theocracy established by the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Alidoosti has previously criticized the Iranian government and its police force.

In June 2020, she was given a five-month suspended prison sentence after she criticized police on Twitter in 2018 for attacking a woman with her headscarf off.

Other films that Alidosti has appeared in include The Beautiful City and About El.

In Iran, two other popular actresses, Hengame Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi, were arrested by authorities for expressing solidarity with the protesters on social media. Both were released.

At least 495 people have been killed in the protests amid a heavy security crackdown, according to Human Rights Watch in Iran, a group that has been tracking the protests since they began. More than 18,200 people were arrested by the authorities.



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