Wed, 07 Dec 2022

Leading French actresses including Juliette Binoche and Isabelle Huppert have cut locks of hair in public displays of protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, the young Iranian woman who died in police custody, and in solidarity with protesting Iranian women.

In a video clip posted on Instagram, Binoche proclaimed, "for freedom," in English before snipped off a handful of her hair and holding it up to the camera.

Binoche was joined by other leading French actresses and singers; including Marion Cotillard and Isabelle Adjani in cutting their hair, with an audio track playing a Persian rendition of Italian protest song "Bella ciao".

It came a day after more than 1,000 French film professionals, including actor Lea Seydoux and Cannes Film Festival head Thierry Fremaux, signed a petition "supporting the revolt by women in Iran".

Women removing their headscarves and cutting their hair has been a key image of the protests in Iran that broke out last month.

They were sparked by the death of Amini, following her arrest by Iran's "morality police" who enforce Iran's strict dress code that requires women to cover their hair in public.

"The Iranian people, with women in front, are risking their lives to protest. These people want only the most basic freedoms. These women, these men, deserve our support," said a message accompanying the video on Instagram.

The post has been widely relayed on other social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

'Only a first step'

Iran's clerical rulers have been grappling with the biggest nationwide unrest in years since Amini's death and protests have spread abroad including London, Paris, Rome and Madrid in solidarity with Iranian demonstrators.

Protesting Iranian women deserve the support of the international community, said French lawyer Richard Sedillot, who initiated the action. "When you feel alone, it's very, very important to know that you have support abroad," said Sedillot in an interview with FRANCE 24. "When everything is so difficult in your own country, you hope that people abroad are with you."

Lawyers, media personalities and other women in France have followed suit.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and Reuters)

Originally published on France24

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