Iran’s Celebrities Face Reprisals For Supporting Protests

Singers, actors, sports stars — the list goes on. Iranian celebrities have been startlingly public in their support for the massive anti-government protests shaking their country. And the ruling establishment is lashing back.

Celebrities have found themselves targeted for arrest, have had passports confiscated and faced other harassment.

Among the most notable cases is that of singer Shervin Hajipour, whose song “For …” has become an anthem for the protest movement, which erupted Sept. 17 over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody after she was arrested for not abiding by the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code.

The song begins with a soft melody, then Hajipour’s resonant voice starts, “For dancing in the streets,” “for the fear we feel when we kiss …” — listing reasons young Iranians have posted on Twitter for why they are taking to the streets against the ruling theocracy.

It ends with the widely chanted slogan that has become synonymous with the protests: “For women, life, freedom.”

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