ACAR shares and supports today’s address of solidarity from the Duesseldorfer Schauspielhaus: “Actor and artist Hossein Mohammadi was arrested during protests in Iran and sentenced to death in a summary trial. We declare our solidarity with our colleague Hossein Mohammadi and all protesters in Iran. We strongly condemn all human rights violations! We condemn the death penalty!”
Mohammadi, 26, was arrested on Nov. 5, 2022, and has been sentenced to execution by the court of the city of Karaj, along with four other protesters. He is accused of taking part in the murder of a member of the Basij militia. The execution of the death sentence is imminent.
Update: We publish a – surely not complete – list with Iranian theatre artists who have been or where arrested or sentenced because of their participation in the political protests since October 2022 (current status December 19, 2022). The list is regularly updated and can be downloaded here.
Since the outbreak of protests in Iran in September that have developed into a revolution against the political regime, protesters and those in solidarity with the protests have been persecuted and repressed with increasing use of police and military means. Among the fatalities of armed repression were many women and children. Now, at least 21 people are currently facing the death penalty, and the first executions have already been carried out. Amnesty International issued a detailed analysis about the cases.
For weeks, a large group of Iranian theater makers has been trying to publish a manifesto in Iran and abroad. This attempt failed when a few days before the publication the Iranian secret service called some of the activists and threatened them with concrete references to individual passages of the text. The pressure meant that the joint manifesto could not be adopted, but some of the authors published parts of it on private social media sites. The result was interrogation and the confiscation of private cell phones and computers. To make a statement against these repressions and to support the protest movement, Soheila Golestani and Hamid Pourazari published a video on Instagram: a street performance in which all women appear without head coverings. The text for it says, among other things, that “the truth will come out and this performance will take place”. The day after the video was released, Soheila Golestani and Hamid Pourazari were arrested and have since been held in Tehran’s Evin Prison.
Update (December 12, 2022): The previously pasted Instagram post has been depublished.
In the aftermath of the brutal murder of Mahsa Amini, and in solidarity with the protesters in Iran, a collective of Iranian feminist academic-activists has published yesterday an open letter. In support of the nationwide protests that followed in Iran, the authors called the goal of the uprising of the Iranian people “the end of the theocratic military” which “uses multifaceted violence against the marginalized bodies”. The Iranian state has set a deadly crackdown on protesters and restricted Iranians’ access to the Internet. The letter has already been signed by hundreds of academics and artists around the globe.