Fatemeh Motamed-Aria, one of Iran’s most famous actresses, was attacked by religious hardliners at a screening of her movie ‘Yahya Did Not Stay Silent’ on 29 January 2016, according to The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
The actress joined the director and cast of the movie in Kashan, a city in the Isfahan Province, at a movie theatre when a “crowd of about 50 or 60 people” shouted at the group calling on Motamed-Aria to leave the city, director Kaveh Ebrahimpour said.
“They insulted Ms. Motamed-Aria with things I had never heard before,” he said.
Ebrahimpour recounted they were forced to enter the theatre from the back with the help of police and needed their help once again to leave by quickly getting into their car and leaving. Police helped by getting two men off the roof of their car and the director said a “number of motorcyclists” chased them but were not able to outpace their car.
The attack was condemned by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, who granted permission for the screening, and was also condemned by the vice president for women and family affairs, Shahindokht Mowlaverdi, who sits in president Rouhani’s administration.
“No religious or common law can justify attacking a Muslim Iranian woman with such indignities, especially under the guise of defending religion,” Mowlaverdi said. “Won’t this kind of aggressive behaviour pave the way for more young artists to leave the country and join satellite channels?”
Motamed-Aria first drew negative attention from religious conservatives in 2010 when she attended France’s Cannes film festival without wearing a head scarf. She also acted in the 2012 film ‘Parinaaz’, which was banned until Rouhani became president. Despite the lifting of the ban, at the time, the film had yet to screen to the public.
» International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran – 3 February 2016:
Iranian officials condemn radical mob’s attack on top actress
» Artsfreedom.org – 25 August 2015:
Iran: 14 films banned since 2007