Movie Stars and Celebrities… How Iran Treated Artists Who Participated in “Mahsa Amini” Protests | politics
Iranian authorities released film star Traneh Ali Dosti yesterday, more than two weeks after her arrest after posting her picture without a veil holding a banner reading “Women, Life, Freedom”; It is the main slogan of the protests that erupted on a large scale following the death of young woman Mahsa Amini when she was arrested by the vice squad in Tehran last September.
Iranian media reported that actress and feminist activist Taraneh Ali Dosti has been released from prison on bail. She was arrested last December 17 on charges of “spreading false and fabricated information, inciting riots and supporting anti-country tendencies”.
Taraneh Ali Dosti is one of the most famous Iranian artists, she has won international awards and participated in international festivals. Speaking on the execution of a protester’s death sentence, she wrote in a post on Instagram: “Wait and see the consequences and repercussions of this bloodshed.
In her article in Iran’s pro-government newspaper Iran, journalist Kobra Asobar defended Dosti’s arrest, writing: “If we want to play a political role, we have to pay the price of the political game, and this could lead to imprisonment as well. On the other hand, a group of artists, accompanied by Dosti’s parents, gathered at the gate of “Evin” prison and demanded their release.
At the global level, the agency “Euronews” announced that more than 500 filmmakers demanded the release of Tranh Ali Dosti. The Locarno, Cannes and Berlinale festivals also announced similar positions.
Hundreds of artists arrested
Producer and activist in the field of Iranian cinema, Mehdi Kohian, referred to reports from cinema, theater and music associations, which confirmed the arrests of hundreds of artists during the protests of the past months. He attributed the Iranian and international interaction with Tranh Ali Dosti’s arrest to her participation in international festivals and to the awards she won.
Since the protests erupted last September, the Filmmakers’ Association of Iran, known as the “House of Cinema,” has set up a committee for “the legal and judicial protection of filmmakers” to follow up the cases of those detained or affected by their political positions.
Committee member Ali Reza Hosseini confirmed that he is closely following the case files of imprisoned filmmakers or “those who have been prevented from carrying out their work”, despite the lack of cooperation from the authorities concerned.
Broad interaction with the protests
Iranian film star Fatima Motamed Arya also asked on her Instagram page: “Is there a greater crime than killing the innocent daughters of this country?” And she added: “By what right did you do that? And what criminal supported this crime?” Her post was accompanied by a photo of young woman Mahsa Amini.
Traneh Ali Dosti and Fatima Motamed Arya’s publications came amid a series of protests involving a large number of Iranian artists that coincided with the events that accompanied and followed the assassination of young woman Amini.
Coinciding with the street demonstrations, Iranian female artists released their paintings without the veil for the first time to support the anti-veiling protest, including Shabnam Farshajo, Katayoun Riahi, Maryam Bubani, Aban Askari, Maryam Balizian and Shiva Ibrahimi.
For her part, the artist Mahtab Karamati resigned from her post as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in Iran in protest at the “killing of children”. And she posted a picture on her Instagram account, in which she wrote: “I fear for my dignity. I was always in a place where I could do something for the kids. I resign from UNICEF.”
Other female artists who have accompanied the protest movement in the country include Hania Tavasoli, Baran Kothari, Hungama Qadiani and Bahnoush Tabatabaei, as well as artists who have had a voice on social media to support the protesters on the streets such as Asghar Farhadi, Shihab Hosseini, Mahran Madiri, Hamid Behdad and Pajaman Jamshidi.
Arrest and ban from work
The anti-artists’ stance was met with arrests, their pictures removed from some fields, some of them saying they were prevented from working, others complaining that their passports were confiscated.
Iran’s Minister of Culture and Guidance, Muhammad Mahdi Ismaili, commented: “The actresses who removed the veil have chosen not to follow the law, and we in the cultural and artistic field only receive those who follow the law he added, “The majority of artists obey the law, but if you insist on admitting you’re not obeying the law, the law doesn’t protect you.”
The minister’s remarks drew harshly worded replies from social media activists, and artists such as Hamid Behdad and Katayoun Riahi spoke out against these remarks, prompting Minister Ismaili to return with a relatively flexible explanation, as he said: “If one If the artist made a mistake regarding recent events, the way back is open. We receive him at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.”
For his part, producer Mahdi Kohian said that the artists who expressed their opinions and took political positions did not violate their civil and political rights. When the artists accused them of “making themselves the political reference,” Kohian said, “If the political parties are doing their jobs as they should be doing at the time that requires it, then neither the artists nor the people will.” the political play a role,” he stressed, that “the artists are not to blame because all they wanted was the support of their people.”
The most important cultural area of Iran worldwide
In response to the artist’s support for the protests, unofficial Iranian sources spoke of blocking the distribution of images of some of them without officially announcing it. However, popular narratives were reinforced with the removal of advertising banners that featured images of artists such as Shihab Hosseini and Pejman Jamshidi, while artists spoke of preventing them from working.
In this regard, producer Mahdi Kohian says that the work ban is a penalty imposed in the event that it is required by a court decision. He confirms that he has not witnessed any such court sentences against the artists arrested as a result of the recent protests.
For its part, the Ministry of Culture and Orientation denied having prevented any of the artists from working, stressing that it had no prior authority to do so.
Regarding the impact of these events on Iranian cinema, which is presented as a private international school, Kohian says that Iranian cinema is the most important Iranian culture and art field at the international level, and there is no doubt that the security situation reduced the period the volume of its global exchange.
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