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French Oscar winner cut off hair to support protesters in Iran

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PARIS — Oscar-winning actors Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche, as well as other French screen and music stars, filmed themselves chopping off locks of their hair in a video posted Wednesday in support of protesters in Iran.

“For freedom,” Binoche said as she hacked a large handful of hair off the top of her head with a pair of scissors, before brandishing it in front of the camera.

The video comes with Iran engulfed by anti-government protests. They were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after her arrest for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code.

Some of the Iranian demonstrators have publicly hacked off locks of hair at the protests, and the gesture has spread.

“For women to cut their hair in Iran is a form of protest … a symbol to stand against the mandatory hijab,” said Dorna Javan, an Iranian political scientist based in France and specialized in Iran. Such a visual gesture is a way for women across the world to rally around the Iranian women’s plight, she added.

The video of Cotillard, Binoche and dozens of other women cutting off locks of their hair was released on an Instagram account, “soutienfemmesiran” — which translates as “support women in Iran.”

In this image taken from video, Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard chops off a lock of her hair to support Iranian protesters standing up to their leadership over the death of Mahsa Amini. Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died in Iran while in police custody, was arrested by Iran's morality police for allegedly violating its strictly-enforced dress code.
In this image taken from video, Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard chops off a lock of her hair to support Iranian protesters standing up to their leadership over the death of Mahsa Amini. Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died in Iran while in police custody, was arrested by Iran’s morality police for allegedly violating its strictly-enforced dress code.

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