Iran protests
Iran protestsYing Tang via Reuters Connect

Iranian authorities on Saturday released on bail former international soccer player Voria Ghafouri and prominent dissident Hossein Ronaghi, two of the most prominent figures detained in the crackdown on the protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, AFP reported.

The arrest of Ghafouri, who is Kurdish and had spoken out in support of the protests, had sparked an outcry as the Iranian team plays in the World Cup in Doha.

Ronaghi, meanwhile, had been detained since shortly after the protests started in mid-September, and concern had been growing about his health after he mounted a hunger strike lasting two months.

"Voria Ghafouri and Hossein Ronaghi were released on bail," Iran's Fars news agency said on its social media accounts.

The Iranian newspaper Shargh also said that Ghafouri had been released following his arrest during a training session on Thursday.

"Hossein was released tonight on bail to undergo treatment," Hossein Ronaghi's brother Hassan wrote on Twitter, according to AFP.

Iran has seen ongoing protests in the last two months, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 16, after she was arrested for an alleged breach of the country's strict dress rules for women based on Islamic sharia law.

UN rights experts say thousands of peaceful protesters have also been arrested, including many women, children and journalists, and at least six people have so far been handed death sentences over the demonstrations.

Ghafouri was arrested one day after members of the Iranian national team refused to sing along with their national anthem during the World Cup. They did participate in the national anthem in their second World Cup match against Wales on Friday.