Conflicts & War

Footballers, singers among those detained in Iranian protests

Tehran, Sep 30 (EFE).- Well-known Iranian personalities including football players and singers are among those who have been arrested during the protests that erupted following the detention and subsequent death in police custody of Mahsa Amini.

Ex-football player Hossein Mahini, of Persepolis FC and national team fame, was detained as he returned home in Tehran, Iran Front Page, a news site, reported late Thursday.

“Authorities say Mahini spread baseless rumors during the unrest on his Twitter account and encouraged people to take to the streets and join anti-government protests,” the outlet added.

His phone and computer were confiscated by police.

Singer Mona Borzoui has also been detained, according to local media, after she published a video on Twitter in which she recited a poem in favor of the protests that erupted in response to the death of Amini on September 16, days after her arrest for allegedly not wearing her hijab properly.

Another singer, Shervin Hajipour, was arrested for publishing a song that was shared widely on social media, the BBC reports.

The governor of Tehran province, Mohsen Mansouri, on Thursday warned that the authorities would take action against famous personalities who “fan the flames” of the unrest.

Iran’s chief of justice, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i, said at the beginning of the week that public figures and celebrities who “openly” support the protesters should pay for the damage caused by the protests.

Among those who have offered their support to the protests include filmmakers, football players and singers.

During a friendly international match against Nigeria in Vienna, players for the Iran national football team wore black jackets over their kits during the national anthem in what was considered a protest move.


Since the protests began on September 16, at least 1,400 people have been detained, including Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani, a women’s rights activist and daughter of the late former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a key figure in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists reported Thursday that 28 journalists had been detained during the protests.

Iranian state TV said 41 people had died in the unrest as of five days ago.

While such figures have not been provided by authorities in Iran, the Oslo-based NGO Iran Human Rights claims the number of dead is closer to 83.

The strength of the protests has waned in the capital Tehran, where the governor on Thursday said they had come to a close.

Police and members of the Basij, a volunteer paramilitary loyal to the regime, have repressed demonstrations using batons, tear gas, water cannons and, according to the United Nations, live ammunition.

The situation in Tehran remains tense, with large police deployments still in force. EFE


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