Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche chop hair in solidarity with Iran protesters

Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche, Credit: AP

Oscar-winning actresses Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche have led French stars in chopping off locks of their hair in solidarity of Iran protesters.

The celebrities filmed themselves cutting their hair in a video posted on Wednesday in support of protesters fighting for girls' and women's rights 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, hashtagged HairForFreedom, comes as Iran is engulfed by anti-government protests.

Girls and women who protested by taking off their headscarves en masse, and demonstrating in public have been at times met with violent responses from hardline authorities.

Their protests were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after her arrest for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code.

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

“These women, these men are asking for our support. Their courage and their dignity obliges us,” a post captioning a video said.

“We have decided to respond to the appeal made to us by cutting, us too, some of these locks.”

Some of the other women who took part included French actresses Charlotte Rampling and Charlotte Gainsbourg, who was also filmed cutting off a lock of hair from the head of her mother, singer Jane Birkin.

Some activists have used the protests in Iran to raise a larger question about women's freedom of expression worldwide.

One Twitter user wrote: "Muslim women protested in France for the freedom to wear the hijab. Muslim women in Iran protesting for the freedom to not wear the hijab."

Mahsa Amini died in custody in Iran Credit: Francisco Seco/AP

"Similarity? Both are protesting for freedom against being told what to do," they added.

France prohibited the wearing of Islamic headscarves in state schools in 2004.

In 2010, it banned the niqab, the full-face Islamic veil, in public places such as streets, parks, public transport, and administrative buildings.

A mural depicting women cutting their hair to show support. Mural reads : "I was born to know you to name you", "Woman Life Freedom" Credit: AP

On Sunday, thousands of people marched in Paris to show their support for Iranian protesters standing up to their leadership over the death of a young woman in police custody.

Briton Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was jailed in Tehran over spying allegations she denies as false, also cut her hair in solidarity with protesters after the death of a young woman in police custody in Iran.

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