Two well known Iranian actresses were arrested by security forces after showing their support for the protest movement that is taking over the country, as the authorities step up their repression on dissenters.
Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi have been arrested several times for publicly supporting the nationwide protestsaccording to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
Since September, the country has seen numerous protests, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iranian morality police. Amini, a Kurdish Iranian, died after being detained for not wearing her hijab properly.
Riahi was arrested by Iranian security forces on Sunday, Tasnim news agency reported. The actress, who is known for her roles in the television series ‘Joseph the Prophet’ and ‘The Tenth Night’, as well as films such as ‘The Last Supper’, had posted a video of herself without a headscarf on her Instagram account on September 18 – two days after Amini’s death.
In a separate incident, Ghaziani, known in Iran for her appearances in films such as ‘As Simple as That’ and ‘Days of Life’, posted a video on her Instagram account on Saturday that showed the Iranian actress in public without a headscarf. . , tying her loose hair in a ponytail.
“This may be my last message. From this moment on, if anything happens to me, know that I will always be with the Iranian people until my last breath,” she said. legend.
Ghaziani was arrested by security forces with a court order just a day after the video was released, according to the Tasnim news agency.
She was then taken to the prosecutor’s office and charged with acting against Iranian security and participating in propaganda activities directed against the Iranian regime, according to the state-affiliated Fars news agency.
On Sunday, the Iranian judiciary said it had sentenced to death a sixth person accused of having participated in the recent demonstrations, according to the Tasnim news agency.
Citing Iranian justice, the agency said a protester who blocked traffic during a recent demonstration on Sattar Khan Street in Tehran and clashed with members of the Basij militia had been given the sentence. of death.
All death sentences handed down are “preliminary and can be appealed” to Iran’s Court of Appeals, Tasnim added.
At least 378 people have been killed by Iranian security forces in total, including 47 children killed in the country since September, according to Iran Human Rights on Saturday
CNN cannot independently verify the death toll — a precise figure is impossible for anyone outside of Iran’s government to confirm — and different estimates have been given by opposition groups, international rights organizations and local journalists.
Four of Iran’s Kurdish towns have seen particularly intense clashes in recent days, with 13 people killed in the past 24 hours, activist Azhin Shekhi of the Norwegian human rights organization Hengaw told CNN on Monday. man.
Casualties were recorded in Kermanshah province, West Azerbaijan province and Kurdistan province – where the majority of Iran’s Kurdish population resides – according to Hengaw.
The death toll since Tuesday last week rose to 41 people killed in Kurdish towns, Shekhi added.
An Iranian MP representing Mahabad, which was the capital of a short-lived Kurdish breakaway republic in northwestern Iran in 1946, said at least 11 people were killed in the city alone.
Jalal Mahmoodzadeh was quoted in reformist media as saying it is unclear whether the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – Iran’s elite military wing – was part of the security forces cracking down on Mahabad, but wrote a letter to senior military officials asking them to defuse the situation.
The IRGC issued a statement on Sunday saying it was “strengthening its forces” at a base in northwestern Iran to deal with “terrorists and separatists”, according to a statement carried by news organizations aligned with the Islamic Republic. ‘State.
The reported death toll follows Hengaw’s comments to CNN over the weekend that regime forces’ “brutality” had “significantly increased” against protesters in recent days.