An Iranian movie star has publicly shown her bruised ad battered face after she was summoned by Iranian security forces and held for several days.
Pantea Bahram – one of Iran’s most celebrated performers – reportedly updated her Instagram profile picture on 12th October, showing her 685,000 followers her bruised face.
The grim black and white photo shows the 52-year-old actress with a livid right black eye and a painful-looking bruise and graze above her lip.
The picture, reported local media, changed again a few hours later.
An Instagram post the day after the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, showed a drawing of the Grim Reaper leaning on an Iranian police car.
After being summoned by the Iranian security forces, she reportedly took to Instagram and posted a message saying: “Without a moment of hesitation, without a moment of stopping, not with the people, but a particle among my people.”
In the same post, she reportedly advertised a non-profit legal association that provides free advice to people who have been summoned by the authorities, along with the slogan “giving information on social networks is not a crime”.
Other Iranian artists have reportedly had their passports confiscated as the regime seeks to increase pressure on public figures in the country.
These artists reportedly include Homayoun Shajarian, 47, a famous Iranian singer and Sahar Dolatshahi, 43, an Iranian actress.
Iranian state media, however, said that the passport confiscations were just a rumour.
But Shajarian reportedly said on Twitter: “Sahar and I have not received our passports yet and we are also prohibited from leaving.”
The revelation comes after Hedieh Tehrani, a leading actress in Iranian cinema, was reportedly banned from leaving the country, with her Instagram account then being shut down for allegedly supporting the protesters.
Previously, a note secretly attached to a gift she sent was published by Iranian photographer Rehaneh Taravati, stating that the actress was given a “warning” by the security institutions of the Islamic Republic.
It read (in Farsi): “It is better to know that neither am I the leader of these people, nor the people whose lives have reached the limit, they do not need to invite me and people like me.”
Tehrani, 50, emphasised: “We are together and know that the only way I can communicate is with the people on the street.”
Her statement comes after widespread protests following the killing of Mehsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was arrested by the morality police in Tehran, and many artists and athletes have protested or expressed solidarity with the protesters.
Mahsa, 22, from Saqqez, Kurdistan Province, was on a visit to Tehran when she was arrested by morality police accused of violating hijab rules on 13th September.
She was allegedly beaten while in custody and spent the following days in a coma in the hospital before succumbing in the ICU on 16th September.
The clinic where she was treated said in a now-deleted social media post that she had been admitted brain-dead.
Alleged medical scans of her skull leaked by hackers showed that she had suffered bone fractures, haemorrhages, and brain oedema.
Anti-regime media are claiming that Mahsa’s medical records showing her history of heart disease were faked by the Iranian government.
The protests her death sparked are ongoing and, according to the non-profit Iran Human Rights, at least 201 people, including 23 children, have been killed so far, according to its latest figures released on 12th October.
A growing list of celebrities have voiced their support for the protests and for Mahsa.
They include former First Lady of the United States and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres, British Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner, American model Bella Hadid, Hollywood icon Sharon Stone, pop star Justin Bieber, Oscar-winner Jessica Chastain, Kim Kardashian, Turkish singer Melek Mosso, Penelope Cruz, Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, actress Eva Mendes, and the British Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling, among others.