Good news! Iranian actress imprisoned for speaking out against death penalty for protesters is freed

Source: Hot Air

Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti has been released from prison. Her mother, Nadereh Hakim Elahi, announced the good news in an Instagram story posted Wednesday morning. Her attorney also posted the news on Twitter. She wrote, “Today, my client Ms. Taraneh Alidoosti will be released from Evin Prison after posting bail.”

I wrote about Taraneh last month when she was arrested for criticizing the regime for using the death penalty against a protester. The European entertainment industry and entertainers in America showed their support for her and demanded her release.

Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi, who directed Alidoosti in The Salesman, called for her release on Instagram while the Cannes Film Festival also expressed its support for the actress on its social media accounts. Over 600 artists from around the world signed a petition urging Iranian authorities to release Alidoosti. The list included leading figures from world cinema including, Pedro Almodovar, Penelope Cruz, Juliette Binoche, Alfonso Cuaron, and Ken Loach.

She is one of Iran’s most prominent actresses. She starred in the 2022 Cannes Competition Title “Leila’a Brothers”. Also on her resume is the 2016 Oscar-winning film, The Salesman.” She was arrested on December 17, 2022, just days after she criticized the regime’s use of the death penalty against protesters. She has been very vocal in her support of the anti-regime pro-freedom protests since the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody in September. The regime wanted to make an example of a high-profile Iranian citizen to intimidate the protesters. It didn’t work. The protests continue.

Her crime was listed as “failing to provide proof for some of her statements” when she posted a picture of herself without a headscarf on Instagram. She held a piece of paper that read “women, life, freedom.” That slogan is a popular one with the protesters. A few days later she posted a picture of herself shopping without a headscarf covering her hair. It’s unclear which of her statements she failed to provide proof of to her prosecutors. She was condemning the execution of Mohsen Shekari. It was a public hanging, the first known execution linked to the protests.

The regime is arresting many Iranian artists in a crackdown on freedom of speech and also the protests. Just before Christmas, Tribeca Festival co-founders spoke out for Taraneh’s release from prison.

Robert Niro and his Tribeca Festival Co-Founder Jane Rosenthal have joined the chorus of calls for Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti to be released from prison, along with “other members of Iran’s art and entertainment community who have risked their lives to speak out against the government.”

Double Oscar winner De Niro is the latest high-profile person to publicly chastize the Iranian regime for its behavior since Alidoosti’s arrest, joining the likes of Asghar Farhadi, SAG-AFTRA and various European Film Institutions and Festivals. He joins a number of A-list stars who put their name to a separate open letter calling for Alidoosti’s release, including the likes of Olivia Colman, Alfonso Cuaron and Mark Ruffalo.

“We are deeply concerned for Taraneh’s safety and join film festivals, filmmakers, and artists around the world in calling for her release,” it added. “Tribeca commends Taraneh, a supporter of women’s rights, for her unfathomable bravery, defiantly speaking out against the Iranian government while not wearing a head covering. We, too, declare, ‘Woman, life, freedom!’.”

It is good news that Taraneh has been released. Let’s hope that nothing else happens to her now that she’s out.