Iranian security institutions have prevented acclaimed actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, who has expressed solidarity with the "Woman, Life, Freedom" protest movement, from traveling to Austria to participate in a multidisciplinary art festival in Vienna.
“Unfortunately, the scheduled performances of The Child have had to be cancelled as the leading actress, Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, has been denied permission to leave Iran,” the organizers of the Vienna Festival (Wiener Festwochen) said.
“We deeply regret this, not only because the play itself deals most impressively with the issues of border demarcation, migration and solidarity, but also because it is a tremendous example of the power of contemporary Iranian theatre,” they added.
“The Child” was scheduled to be performed at the annual festival on June 6. The performance will be replaced by a free film screening of a recording of the play.
In early May, Tehran police said a legal case had been filed against Motamed-Arya for "unveiling the hijab in public and publishing images on social media."
The actress had previously appeared without a mandatory hijab at a public funeral ceremony on April 18.
In recent months, officials have warned women to respect the mandatory hijab rules and have threatened to punish violators. The authorities have also shut down restaurants, cafes and other businesses due to the failure of owners or managers to observe Islamic laws and hijab rules.