Sam Asghari has shared an impassioned message with his fans amid ongoing protests in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini.
The Iranian-American actor’s post comes as demonstrations take place across the country, sparked by anger over the 22-year-old’s death in custody after she was arrested by Iran’s so-called morality police for wearing an “improper hjiab”.
Asghari has now decided to speak out against the Iranian government in a video shared with his three-million followers on Friday (23 September).
He began the video by explaining what Iran was like before 1979, describing it as being “run by a great leadership”.
The Iranian people of this time had “freedom, hope”, Asghari said, and the country and its “rich culture” were “respected” by others.
“But after 1979, the Islamic Republic regime took over and forced its ideology, propaganda and dictatorship on the people,” Asghari, 28, continued. “It slaughtered, murdered and stole from innocent people.
“The country is now known for being the biggest sponsor of terrorism. It’s now hated by every single country because of this horrible government. But they are the biggest terrorist for its own people.”
In April 1979, the Iranian Revolution saw the Islamic republic come into power under Ayatollah Ruholiah Khomeini.
Iran underwent huge changes, including strict laws that imposed a dress code forcing all women in the country to wear a hijab, regardless of their religion or nationality.
Protests against the mandatory dress code have broken out in the past. However, the death of Amini last week caused mass protests to erupt in cities throughout the country and have also resulted in deadly clashes between demonstrators and police.
By Thursday (22 September), at least nine people have died since the violence began over the weekend, according to the Associated Press.
Rolling outages of Instagram and WhatsApp have also been reported by protesters, who use the platforms to share information about the Iranian government’s crackdown on the unrest.
Protests have also raged across the western Kurdish provinces from which Amini, an ethnic Kurd, hailed. Demonstrators chanted against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and ripped down Islamic Republic flags and insignia.
On TikTok, Iranian women have been shaving their heads and burning their headscarves in protest, while others have filmed themselves defying orders from men to put on their headscarves.
In his video, Asghari continued: “The biggest protest for basic human rights in Iran is happening as we speak. We’ve seen videos of people getting murdered and slaughtered on the streets, innocent people.”
He pointed to the 2019 protests, when nationwide civil protests in Iran triggered a similar internet shutdown by the government and led to hundreds of deaths.
“[We’re] asking how we can help the Iranian people as outsiders. People can help by simply sharing and becoming their voice,” Asghari urged his followers.
Asghari, who is married to pop star Britney Spears, shared a TikTok video explaining the events in Iran alongside a post by The Women of Cyprus, a group that promotes women’s rights.
He also shared a black screen with text that read: “To all my non-Iranian friends. We stood by Ukraine, we stood by Afghanistan, we stood by Black Lives Matter, we reacted and stood up against all the cruelties in the world; it’s time for you to stand by us. Share what’s happening in Iran. Be our voice.”
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