Iranian actor arrested en route to women’s World Cup

A popular Iranian actor and outspoken supporter of the country’s opposition movement has been arrested in Tehran after attempting to travel to Germany to take part in coverage of the women’s World Cup.

Pegah Ahangarani, 27, was scheduled to go to Germany to participate in TV programmes about the Fifa tournament, but was picked up from her home in the capital by security officials on Sunday.

Ahangarani fell foul of the Islamic regime when she publicly campaigned for opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in Iran‘s 2009 presidential elections, but escaped arrest until recently because of her widespread popularity.

She is the second woman to have been arrested in recent weeks in connection with the women’s World Cup in Germany. Maryam Majd, a prominent Iranian photographer and activist who had campaigned for women to be allowed to enter stadiums to watch football matches in Iran, was arrested in late June before going to Germany, where she wanted to work on a book about women and sport.

Within days of Ahangarani going missing, Deutsche Welle – Germany’s international broadcasting service, which had invited her to Berlin – confirmed she had been arrested. “The Farsi-lang… >>>

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