LONDON: Iranian-American actor Sam Asghari, 28 has taken to social media to condemn Tehran following nationwide mass protests against the regime.
Asghari, husband of singer Britney Spears, on Friday posted a video to Instagram, where he has over 3 million followers.
“The biggest protest for basic human rights in Iran is happening as we speak,” he said. “We’ve seen videos of people getting murdered and slaughtered on the streets, innocent people.”
He added: “After 1979, the Islamic Republic regime took over and forced its ideology, propaganda and dictatorship on the people. 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.”
The revolution ushered in a series of repressive laws, including around women being forced to wear hijabs.
The current protests were triggered by the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained by Iran’s so-called morality police on Sept. 16 for not wearing her hijab correctly.
The Associated Press reported that since Amini’s death, nine people have been killed in clashes between protesters and Iranian authorities.
Social media sites, including Instagram and WhatsApp, have been disabled after protesters used them to coordinate and broadcast civil unrest.
In his video, Asghari said before the revolution Iran had been “respected” for its “great culture,” adding that protests over repression and civil liberties since then were not new, pointing to the 2019 demonstrations that saw hundreds of people killed by the regime.
“(We are) asking how we can help the Iranian people as outsiders. People can help by simply sharing and becoming their voice,” he said.
The actor also shared a video on his TikTok account published by The Women of Cyprus civil rights group explaining the situation in Iran, and posted a black square in a separate Instagram upload captioned: “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.”