Iran has been rocked for two weeks by waves of protest following the death in police custody of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, arrested by the morality police. This Thursday, Tehran threatened to “attack” its celebrities who supported these demonstrations.
A wave of protests that has claimed dozens of lives has rocked Iran since the 22-year-old died on September 16, days after she was arrested for violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women, in especially the wearing of the veil.
“We are going to attack the celebrities who have blown on the embers” of the “riots”, declared the governor of the province of Tehran, Mohsen Mansouri, quoted Thursday by the news agency ISNA. On Wednesday, the Mehr news agency reported the arrest of former public television host Mahmoud Shahriari accused of “encouraging riots and showing solidarity with the enemy”.
Several famous Iranian sportsmen as well as actors and filmmakers have openly supported the protest movement, asking the authorities to listen to the demands of the population. Twice Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi urged people around the world on Sunday to “stand in solidarity” with the protesters.
Support and “solidarity”
“I invite all artists, filmmakers, intellectuals, civil rights activists around the world (…) all those who believe in human dignity and freedom, to express their solidarity with the powerful and courageous women and men of Iran making videos, writing or any other way,” he said in a new video post on Instagram.
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Separately, former national football team star Ali Karimi has repeatedly posted messages of support for the protests on Instagram and Twitter.
” Shame on you “
Earlier this week, Iranian striker Sardar Azmoun, who plays for German football club Bayer Leverkusen, said he could not remain silent in the face of the many deaths of repression: “It cannot be erased from our consciousness. Shame on you,” he posted on social media.
A few days ago, the Iranian justice chief, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, also attacked the celebrities. “Those who became famous through the support of the system, during the difficult days, joined the enemy instead of being with the people. All must know that they must repay the material and spiritual damage caused to the people and the country,” he said.