In response to the wave of protests organised by women that were started by outrage over the murder of Mahsa Amini after she was detained by the Islamic Republic’s morality police, Iran increased pressure on celebrities and journalists on Thursday.
Athletes, musicians, actors, and filmmakers have all supported the protests. Many people took it as a sign when the national football team stayed in their black tracksuits during the playing of the anthems before a match in Vienna against Senegal.
“We will take action against the celebrities who have fanned the flames of the riots,” Tehran provincial governor Mohsen Mansouri stated, according to the ISNA news agency.
Iran’s judiciary chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei similarly charged that “those who became famous thanks to supporting from the system have joined the enemy when times are difficult”.
The alerts followed nearly two weeks of nationwide protests in Iran and a bloody crackdown that, according to human rights organisation Amnesty International, was marked by “ruthless violence by security forces.”
The death of Kurdish woman Amini, 22, three days after her arrest for allegedly disobeying Iran’s strict laws requiring women to wear hijabs and modest attire, sparked outrage among the general populace.
“Woman, Life, Freedom!” protestors have chanted ever since, in Iran’s biggest demonstrations in almost three years, in which women have brazenly burned their headscarves and shaved their hair.
President Ebrahim Raisi emphasised that, despite “grief and sorrow” over Amini’s murder, public security “is the red line of the Islamic Republic of Iran and no one is allowed to break the law and cause chaos”.