Iran Protests: Secret Committee Punished Celebrities Over Dissent. According to stolen documents obtained by the BBC, Iran established a secret committee last year to penalize celebrities who supported the current anti-government protests.
On September 22, six days after the unrest began, the committee gave the economics ministry a list of 141 well-known people.
The government was given the go-ahead to investigate the taxpayers’ tax returns and pursue specific legal action.
Football legend Ali Daei and prominent actress Taraneh Alidoosti were included.
They are among the several sportsmen, artists, and social media stars who over the past seven months have been punished financially, imprisoned, or faced travel restrictions due to their support for the protestors’ calls for basic rights.
On September 16, Mahsa Amini—a young lady who had been detained by Tehran’s morality police for allegedly wearing her hijab “improperly”—died while in custody, sparking a wave of protests that swiftly spread across the country.
Hundreds of people were killed and many more were put in prison as security forces brutally put an end to the protests, labelling them as “riots” organized by outsiders.
BBC Persian was able to get three papers from a Middle Eastern intelligence source that demonstrate how the government took quick and well-coordinated action to attempt to deter celebrities from defying the status quo.
The so-called “Celebrity Task Force” is identified in a letter dated September 22 as having taken decisions, and its head is identified as Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili, Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance. The European Union has sanctioned Esmaili for alleged serious violations of human rights.
According to the report, the economy ministry has been ordered to review the tax returns of 141 well-known individuals who the committee believes played a significant part in igniting the disturbance and to put in place “anticipated restrictions in accordance with the law”.
In addition to Ali Daei and Taraneh Alidoosti, other well-known individuals on the list included filmmakers Asghar Farhadi, Pegah Ahangarani, Manijeh Hekmat, and Asghar Farhadi. Taraneh Alidoosti was jailed on December 17 after objecting to the death of a protester and freed on bail two weeks later.
Kindly read all the Latest News, Entertainment News and gossips here. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Telegram.