Iranian actress Hanieh Tavassoli has been handed a six-month prison sentence for content shared on social media amidst worsening crackdowns.
The charges against her include "publishing false information with the intent to disturb public opinion." The prison sentence has been suspended for three years, as conveyed by the lawyer.
Speaking in an interview with the semi-official news agency ISNA on Sunday, her legal advisor, Maryam Kian Ersi, detailed that Tavassoli is also obligated to pay a fine of 150 million rials (approximately 300 USD).
Tavassoli, who was apprehended at her residence in September, has since been released on bail. The arrest was linked to content shared on her social media accounts, particularly a tribute to Mahsa Amini, who tragically lost her life in morality police custody. The incident coincided with national protests commemorating the one-year anniversary of Amini's death.
Several weeks preceding her arrest, Tavassoli took to Instagram to express her views, indicating a perceived decline in religious authority and clerical influence in Iran. She emphasized the necessity for Iranian cinema to align itself with the "intelligent, rebellious, and courageous youth and society of today."
Tavassoli joins a growing list of celebrities, athletes, and public figures who have faced arrests and penalties for expressing anti-regime sentiments online. Consequences have included job losses, travel bans, and frozen bank accounts.
Since the death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022, anti-regime demonstrations have witnessed a widespread rejection of the mandatory Islamic head covering, known as hijab. The symbolic protest serves as a collective expression against the enduring power consolidation of the clerical establishment in Iran since the 1979 revolution.