Society & Culture

Iranian Actress Arrested After Signing Group Statement on Sexual Harassment

July 25, 2022
1 min read
Nazanin Bahrami was taken into custody on her way home from work on Saturday
Nazanin Bahrami was taken into custody on her way home from work on Saturday

Iranian stage actress Nazanin Bahrami has been arrested by security forces in Tehran after she signed an 800-strong statement denouncing sexual abuse in her industry.

Relatives told Radio Farda that Bahrami and colleagues were surrounded by uniformed men at about 11am on Saturday. The agents reportedly recorded the contents of her mobile phone and allowed the others to leave before taking Bahrami to an unknown location.

Since April this year, hundreds of female professionals have added their names to an open letter to Iranian cinema bosses demanding an end to sexual harassment and coercion in the workplace. They also reported being “extorted” through withheld wages.

In recent weeks some of the signatories have reported coming under pressure from the authorities and powerful men in the industry. In a radio broadcast in mid-July, movie producer Mohammad Hossein Farahbakhsh openly called for the 800 signatories to be flogged.

The arrest also coincides with a fresh, systematic campaign to restrict women’s civil liberties in Iran and an uptick in the number of morality patrols deployed to the streets. Several filmmakers have also recently been arrested in a seemingly coordinated series of raids.

So far no official news outlet has reported on Bahrami’s arrest, nor on what alleged offence would have prompted it.

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