Footballer Sardar Azmoun has called for the release of two journalists detained by the Iranian authorities for covering the protests taking place across the country.
Journalists Nilofar Hamidi and Elahe Mohammadi were imprisoned after Iran's intelligence agencies accused them of being "trained by foreigners" to encourage protesters.
The Iranian national football team’s striker has been the only player in the team to voice his support for the people of Iran since nationwide protests broke out.
The most recent wave of protests was triggered by the death last month of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Tehran’s morality police.
Security forces have responded to the mainly peaceful protests with brutal violence, leading to the deaths of at least 253 people, including 34 children, according to one human rights organization. Several thousand people have been arrested.