Actress in Iran arrested after signing anti-sexual violence statement


An Iranian actress has been arrested in Tehran by undercover police officers after signing a statement along with 800 women against sexual violence within the Iranian film industry, The Independent reported.

The family of Nazanin Bahrami reported that she was arrested while returning from work, and that her whereabouts are still unknown. An official statement has yet to be released on her case.

“The irony in Iran is that although the entire system is purportedly protective of women in the words of the officials, many Iranian women in various industries have been facing sexual abuse by people connected to the regime,” Masih Alinejad, an Iranian US journalist and women’s rights activist, told The Independent.

The arrest comes amid growing pressure from authorities in Iran to make the hijab compulsory, with many women who fail to comply with the dress code being labeled “bad-hijab.”

Reports claim that transport workers, government staff, and banks have been ordered by morality police to avoid serving “bad-hijab” women.

“These women are often intimidated into silence. Some like Reyhaneh Jabari have even been executed. Reyhaneh, an interior designer, was raped by an Iranian official,” Alinejad said.

“When she resisted her rapist, she ended up being executed. In Iran, laws are geared to punish Iranian women seeking justice against sexual assault.”

In 2014, Jabari was executed at age 26 for allegedly killing an intelligence officer who she said was trying to rape her. (Source: Arab News)