(NEW YORK)—PEN America expressed deep concern today about the safety of the Iranian actress, activist and literary translator Taraneh Alidoosti after she was arrested and detained by Iranian authorities for criticizing the execution of Moheen Shekari, the first person to be executed in connection with the ongoing protests in Iran.

Liesl Gerntholtz, director of the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Center, said: “Taraneh Alidoosti is a highly talented actress who has long used her celebrity status to advocate for women’s equality in Iran and to speak out against the Iranian government’s violence against protesters. As a literary translator from English to Farsi of noted authors including Canadian Nobel Laureate in Literature Alice Munro and American Jewish novelist Nicole Krauss, she has become a friend and partner to noted authors around the world, helping build bridges across cultural and political divides.  Her courage, influence, intellect and visibility have now made her a target. Her arrest and detention is yet another blatant attempt by the Iranian government to suppress the human rights of Iranian citizens, including their right to criticize their government, and crush their protests through fear and force. PEN America salutes Alidoosti’s courage and calls on the Iranian government to immediately release her.”

She is best known internationally for her role in The Salesman, which won the Best Foreign Language Film Award at the 2017 Academy Awards.

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Learn more at pen.org.

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057