Tehran, July 16: A popular Iranian actress and a 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 programs about the FIFA tournament, but was picked up from her home in the capital by security officials on Sunday.
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 Guardian reports.
“The Farsi-language service of Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcasting service, has learned from people close to the actress that Ahangarani has been arrested,” said the German news organization.
“Deutsche Welle had set up a blog for Ahangarani, who enjoys broad popularity in Iran, to report on the women’s World Cup soccer championships currently being held in Germany,” it said.
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.
According to Deutsche Welle, officials in Tehran have confirmed that Ahangarani is currently being held by the security agents of the Revolutionary Guards.
Ahangarani has contacted her family once since her arrest, when she told them she was unaware of her whereabouts or the charges against her, the paper said.
No information was available on where she was being held or whether she had access to legal representation.
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 was arrested in late June before going to Germany, where she wanted to work on a book about women and sport, the paper said. (ANI)