Iran releases 'all the footballers' arrested at mixed-gender party
Iranian authorities have released several football players who were arrested for attending a mixed-gender party near Tehran, local media has reported.
Media had on Sunday said that the unidentified footballers were arrested at the party where they were "in an abnormal state due to alcohol consumption".
"All the footballers present at the birthday party in the city of Damavand have been released," the Young Journalists Club, a news agency linked to state television, said late on Sunday, quoting an unnamed source.
Fars news agency said authorities had launched the procedure for the release of four footballers, two of whom it said play for Esteghlal FC.
Iranian law only permits non-Muslims to consume alcohol for religious purposes. Dancing with the opposite gender is forbidden.
The Islamic republic has been rocked by unrest since the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22, following her arrest for an alleged breach of the strict dress code for women.
Iranian officials say hundreds of people have been killed in what it terms "riots", including members of the security forces, and thousands have been arrested.
A number of current and former footballers as well as other athletes and prominent figures have been detained or questioned by the authorities after voicing support for the protests.