Robert Niro and his Tribeca Festival Co-Founder Jane Rosenthal have joined the chorus of calls for Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti to be released from prison, along with “other members of Iran’s art and entertainment community who have risked their lives to speak out against the government.”
Double Oscar winner De Niro is the highest profile person to have publicly chastized the Iranian regime for its behavior since Alidoosti’s arrest, joining the likes of Asghar Farhadi, SAG-AFTRA and various European Film Institutions and Festivals.
Alidoosti, one of the nation’s most prominent actresses and star of Cannes Competition Title Leila’s Brothers, was arrested and detained six days ago after expressing solidarity with anti-government demonstrators on Instagram where she posed without a headscarf. She had condemned those who did not speak out on the execution of protester Mohsen Shekari.
In a Tribeca statement in the past hour signed by De Niro and Rosenthal, the pair demanded her immediate release from the infamous Evin Prison in Tehran.
“We are deeply concerned for Taraneh’s safety and join film festivals, filmmakers, and artists around the world in calling for her release,” it added. “Tribeca commends Taraneh, a supporter of women’s rights, for her unfathomable bravery, defiantly speaking out against the Iranian government while not wearing a head covering. We, too, declare, ‘Woman, life, freedom!’.”
Tribeca, which is comprised of 70% women, went on to issue a message of support for “other members of Iran’s art and entertainment community who have risked their lives to speak out against the government” including the likes of Jafar Panahi, Mohammad Rasoulof and Mostafa Al-Ahmad.
Alidoosti’s detention has come at a time of wider crackdown in Iran, enflamed by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in custody after being arrested for not wearing a headscarf in public.