Celebrities In Iran Also Pay A Price For Supporting Protests
Iran International, Maryam Sinaee Sunday, 25 December 2022 #IranProtests
Ashkan Khatibi, a popular TV and cinema actor in Iran who was detained three months ago for expressing solidarity with protesters, has spoken up about his ordeal.
In a post Saturday, Khatibi, 43, said that in the past three months he has been living in hiding and fear. “I was arrested and questioned for allegations made against me 90 days ago, charged and my case was handed over to a judge,” he wrote in Persian in his post which also included a message in English.
Khatibi said his “endless” interrogations came with verbal and physical violence and that after being freed he was assaulted in the street by plainclothes security forces who accused him of blasphemy. The actor said he received so many death threats by phone that he had to change his cellphone number. “I had to leave behind my career, my life, and everything that I had worked hard for all my life.”
The actor has had a stroke during this time and is suffering from panic attacks resulting from the violence he was subjected to, but he says he’s not telling his story to make people feel sorry for him.
”I know and you know that this [revolution] will not stop and that the blood [that is being shed] will not be in vain,” he said while making a plea, presumably to people outside Iran, to be the voice of Iranian protesters and their “unique revolution”.
Over 312,000 “liked” Khatibi’s Instagram post within a day, his first since the very early day of the protests that swept across the country in late September. He has also reposted some of his Instagram stories which have been used as evidence against him. “I will talk about the details of what has happened when the time is right,” he said.
Khatibiis one of scores of celebrities who have been detained for sympathizing with protesters or criticism of the government. Around fifty filmmakers and actors of Iranian cinema are currently in detention.
A response from internationally known British actor, comedian and writer Omid Djalili to Ashkan's Instagram story:
Fantastic post Askan my brother. How they could treat you, one of our country’s greatest talents, so appallingly is beyond comprehension. As they show themselves single every day these we these people are nothing more than zombies. Actually zombies have higher moral consciousness as they don’t perpetuate crimes against humanity for power and money whilst pretending be a mouthpiece for God. SO glad you’re alive! This dark chapter in Iran’s history is coming to a rapid close. And we will sit down together somewhere soon and have a proper laugh together. Beh Piroozi! Khaylee azizee ❤️