Iranian actor Nazanin Bahrami’s family says she was arrested by secret police officers in the country’s capital, Tehran, after she signed a statement about sexual harassment in her industry.
Ms. Bahrami is one of 800 women who recently signed a statement condemning sexual harassment and violence against women in Iran’s film industry.
Relatives of the actor say Ms Bahrami was detained after she was approached by undercover police officers on her way home from work and they do not know where she is now.Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty Report
Iranian authorities have not yet released a statement on Bahrami’s case.
Women’s rights are severely restricted in Iran and headscarves are mandatory for all women in public, while those who do not wear the hijab, or have some hair on display while wearing the hijab, face penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment.
In the wake of Ms Bahrami’s apparent arrest, the Islamic Republic is waging a campaign to force women to wear the hijab – labeling women, many of them young, who flout the rules as “bad-hijab”.
“Morality police” are arresting women in a crackdown, with reports that some officials have demanded public transport workers, government office workers and banks not serve so-called “bad-hijab” women. Medical settings and universities in some Iranian cities have been monitored by “morality police” to ensure women cover their heads.
Iranian-American journalist and women’s rights activist Masih Alinejad said freedom: “The irony of the Islamic Republic of Iran is that although the entire system is protective of women according to officials, many Iranian women in various industries have been sexually assaulted by regime-linked individuals.
“These women are often scared into silence. Some, like Rehanah Jabari, have been executed. Rayhaneh, an interior designer, was raped by an official of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
“When she resisted her abuser, she was executed. In Iran, laws have been made to punish Iranian women who seek justice for sexual harassment,” she said.
Rehaneh Jabari, who is 26, was hanged in 2014 at Rajei Shahr prison outside Tehran for killing a man she accused of trying to rape. Prominent human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, have called for Jabari not to be sentenced to death.
Jabbari was arrested in 2007 for the alleged murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former Intelligence Ministry operative. He claimed that he stabbed Sarbandi in the back because he tried to rape her but insisted that she was killed by another person.