Tens of Iranian artists and celebrities have stepped down from attending state-run festivals in protest of the cover-up of the downing of the Ukrainian plane and the crackdown on the related street protests.
Iranian filmmakers and artists are dropping out of festivals amid a wave of public outrage after Iranian authorities, following three days of denial, admitted that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had shot down a passenger plane belonging to Ukrainian International Airlines.
Fajr Festivals is a series of state-run festivals that are held every year during February on the anniversary of the 1979 Iranian revolution in Iran. The major festivals under the name of Fajr include a film festival, theater festival, music festival, and visual art festival.
Masoud Kimiai, a well-known Iranian director, has pulled out his film “There Was Blood” from the Fajr Film Festival. Fatemeh Motamed Arya, an award-winning Iranian actress and the chief of Association of Iranian Actors in her Instagram account, announced stepping down from attending the Fajr Festival.
She wrote: “Stage has always been our home.”
”… to pay respect to the fallen women, men and children of our land, we will be silent in this home,” she added
Pegah Ahangarani and Sara Bahrami, two famous Iranian actresses, announced that they are not going to attend the Fajr Film Festival.
Tens of actors, writers, directors, and theater groups have also withdrawn from the Fajr Theater Festival in recent days. Saber Abar and Hossein Maajoni, Atila Pesiany, and Alireza Kooshk Jalali are among the theater artists who have stepped down from the International Fajr Theater Festival.
Ebrahim Haghighi, the secretary of the 2020 Fajr Visual Arts Festival, and the jury boards of the festival have all resigned.
A group of cartoonists and satirists in a statement announced they are stepping down Fajr Festival.
In this statement signed by 42 cartoonists and satirists, signatories protested the cover-up over plane crash. They demanded a thorough investigation, calling for the resignation and prosecution of those who are responsible for this accident.
Several musicians, including Keyvan Saket and Hana kamkar, have also stepped down from attending Fajr Music Festival.
Alireza Assar, an Iranian musician and pop singer, has also canceled his concert amid the public anger over the shoot-down of the Ukrainian plane.
Sara Sadat Khademalsharieh, an Iranian female chess player, announced her resignation from the Iran National Chess team.
Sara holds the titles of International Master and Woman Grandmaster. In an Instagram post, she announced her resignation from the Iran National Chess team.
Sara, 22 posted a picture on her Instagram account on Sunday and wrote:
“Resignation from the National team.”
Sara did not mention the reason for her resignation in this Instagram post, but stepping down from the Iranian national team happens following the public anger over the downing a Ukrainian Plane by Iran last week. All 176 people on board the Ukrainian plane killed in the accident.
After three days of denial, IRGC finally acknowledged on Saturday, January 11 that the missile launched by Iranian operator brought down the PS752 flight. On Saturday and Sunday, several protests in major Iranian cities erupted to protest the cover-up. Protesters demanded the resignation of the Supreme leader and those responsible for the plane crash.