Leading Iranian actor posts picture without hijab in support of anti-government protests

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CNN

Leading Iranian actor Taraneh Alidoosti posted a picture of herself on Instagram without the mandatory hijab to show support for ongoing anti-government protests that kicked off in Iran nearly two months ago.

In the photo, Alidoosti holds a sign that reads “Women, Life, Freedom” in Kurdish, a popular slogan that has been used in the demonstrations that have been largely led by women.

“Your final absence, the migration of singing birds, is not the end of this rebellion,” Alidoosti writes in her Instagram post.

The actor, who starred in Academy Award-winning film “The Salesman,” has previously shared a number of social media posts that are critical of the regime and has been a public supporter of the demonstrations. She is also known as a defender of women’s rights in Iran.

Earlier this week, Alidoosti vowed in another Instagram post to remain in her homeland, saying “I’m the one to stay, and I do not plan on leaving at all.”

“I will stand with the families of the prisoners and the murdered, and demand their rights,” Alidoosti says in thatInstagram post.

“I will fight for my home. I will pay whatever price to stand for my right,” she adds.

Alidoosti is one of several female Iranian actors to take off their mandatory hijab to protest the clerical establishment.

On Wednesday, Iranian actors Donya Madani and Khazar Massoumi also posted photos of themselves on Instagram without a headscarf on.

The Islamic Republic is facing one of its biggest and unprecedented shows of dissent following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman detained by the morality police allegedly for not wearing her hijab properly.

Since her death on September 16, protesters across Iran have coalesced around a range of grievances with the regime. Meanwhile, Iranian authorities have been stepping up efforts to end the uprising.

Around 1,000 people have been charged in Tehran province for their alleged involvement in the protests, state news agency IRNA reported.

As many as 14,000 people have been arrested in total across the country, including journalists, activists, lawyers and educators. Among them is dissident Iranian rap artist Toomaj Salehi, who faces accusations of crimes that are punishable by death, according to Iranian state media.

The “unabated violent response of security forces” has led to the reported deaths of at least 277 people, Javaid Rehman, special rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, said in an address to the UN Security Council Wednesday, a figure backed by reports from human rights groups.