Iran releases star actor Alidoosti on bail

Iran releases star actor Alidoosti on bail

Iran releases star actor Alidoosti on bail

Iranian authorities released star actor Taraneh Alidoosti on bail on Jan. 4 after holding her for almost three weeks over her support for the protest movement, her lawyer said.

Alidoosti is one of Iranian cinema’s most acclaimed stars, winning international renown for performances in award-winning films by director Asghar Farhadi, including the Oscar-winning 2016 movie “The Salesman.”

Her detention had prompted an outcry in the film industry and amplified concern about the authorities’ crackdown on more than three months of protests that has seen thousands arrested.

“My client was released on bail today,” lawyer Zahra Minooee told the ISNA news agency.

Images published by Iranian media, including the Shargh newspaper, showed her walking free from Tehran’s Evin prison clutching flowers and notably not wearing the Islamic headscarf, in apparent defiance of Iran’s strict dress laws.

Leading figures from the Iranian film industry still inside the country turned out to welcome her, including directors Mani Haghighi and Saeed Roustayi, the images showed.

Other pictures of her being driven away in a car showed her sticking out her tongue and flashing a ‘V’ for victory sign.

“Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti released after three weeks in detention: what joy and relief!” tweeted the Cannes Film Festival. “Let’s stay involved!” it added.

British actor of Iranian origin Nazanin Boniadi praised Alidoosti for appearing “courageously also without mandatory hijab in the photos after her release.”

Alidoosti, 38, was arrested on Dec. 17 after making a string of social media posts supporting the protest movement, including removing her headscarf and condemning the execution of protesters.

Over 600 artists worldwide, including actors Kate Winslet and Mark Rylance and director Pedro Almodovar, had signed an open letter calling for her release.

Her arrest “was a warning to public figures in Iran as part of the Iranian regime’s brutal crackdown on the nationwide Woman, Life, Freedom protests,” said the petition, published on the Instagram page of Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo.

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