Iran's Stars of Screen and Sport Throw Weight Behind Protesters

  • In World
  • 2022-09-27 15:14:36Z
  • By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Protests gripping Iran are getting unprecedented public support from celebrities spanning the arts and sport, underscoring the depth of the anger sparked by the death in custody of a young woman.

Most Read from Bloomberg

  • Germany Suspects Sabotage Hit Russia's Nord Stream Pipelines

  • Apple Ditches iPhone Production Increase After Demand Falters

  • Alzheimer's Progression Slowed by Drug in Major Trial

  • Putin's Mobilization Hits Russia's Economy in Its Weak Spots

  • US Housing Prices Fall for First Time Since 2012

At least six actresses, several with high-profile roles in popular TV series, joined thousands of other women who have publicly removed their headscarves or cut their hair in solidarity with Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old whose fate has triggered some of the biggest anti-government protests since the 1979 revolution.

"I'm an Iranian woman who for years because of enforcement and fear, wore a headscarf, but it was never my choice and it no longer will be," actrress Shiva Ebrahimi wrote on her Instagram account. Amini was arrested by morality police in Tehran for allegedly breaking the country's dress code for women that mandates hair must be covered and loose-fitting clothes.

In response to the actresses' expressions of support, the state, which has a virtual monopoly on Iran's broadcast services, has effectively fired them all.

Minister for Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad-Mehdi Esmaili said the women had "broken the law" by posting unveiled photos on their social media sites and "can freely start new jobs elsewhere."

Iranian officials haven't released a death toll for the protests since Saturday, when they said 41 people had been killed. On Tuesday, the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights said it had confirmed the deaths of 76 protesters across 14 provinces amid a massive security crackdown.

Why a Woman's Death in Iran Has Ignited New Protests: QuickTake

Amini's family say she was healthy when she left her native western Kurdistan province and died after being beaten in custody and her injuries covered up. Claims by police that she suffered "heart failure" brought on by a pre-existing condition before falling into a coma have fueled the anger on the streets.

Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi said in a video posted to Instagram on Saturday that women protesters "are looking for simple but fundamental rights that the state has denied them for years" and expressed his pride in their actions. He called on artists, intellectuals and civil-rights activists around the world to stand behind the demonstrators.

Films are heavily vetted and often censored in Iran. TV shows are overseen by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, which is controlled by hardliners who try to portray a religious and conservative version of Iranian society on television screens.

High-profile athletes have also joined the denunciations of the Iranian leadership, including Dubai-based Ali Karimi, a former midfielder for German soccer team Bayern Munich with 12.3 million Instagram followers.

The hardline, state-affiliated Fars news has called for his arrest and late on Monday photos shared on Twitter purportedly showed his home in northern Tehran covered in official seizure notices.

The images couldn't be verified by Bloomberg but appeared after a conservative political activist and former lawmaker told state TV that Karimi's property in Iran should be confiscated as punishment.

Appearing to brush off the threat, Karimi wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that "a home without a land is worthless."

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

  • Mental Health Crisis Leads Hospitals to Create a New Type of ER

  • As Home Prices Surge, Americans Are Moving to Cheaper Places

  • The Supreme Court Is About to Display Its Power Imbalance Again

  • Google's Low-Tech Plan to Solve the Opioid Crisis

  • TikTok Steers Its Charm Offensive Around Loudest Critics in DC

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.


More Related News

Ukraine Latest: US Seeks to Calm Oil Market Angst Over Price Cap
Ukraine Latest: US Seeks to Calm Oil Market Angst Over Price Cap

(Bloomberg) -- Biden administration officials are trying to reassure oil market participants that the newly agreed $60 price cap on Russian crude won't...

FTX's LedgerX Is Up for Sale as Restructuring Process Picks Up

(Bloomberg) -- LedgerX, one of the few solvent pieces of Sam Bankman-Fried's crumbled FTX empire, is for sale and attracting interest from would-be buyers...

FBI's Wray Says US Still Discussing Terms of TikTok Security Agreement

(Bloomberg) -- FBI Director Christopher Wray said US officials are still discussing how to address national-security concerns posed by TikTok, in comments...

Treasury Yields Trim Rise After Shock of Strong Jobs Report
Treasury Yields Trim Rise After Shock of Strong Jobs Report

(Bloomberg) -- Expectations for where the Federal Reserve will need to take its benchmark rate in 2023 rebounded and Treasury yields initially surged after...

Ukraine Latest: Kremlin Says War to Go On, Remains Open to Talks
Ukraine Latest: Kremlin Says War to Go On, Remains Open to Talks
  • World
  • 2022-12-02 12:27:56Z

(Bloomberg) -- Vladimir Putin's administration said he remains open to negotiations after President Joe Biden raised the prospect of talks if the Russian...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: World