Iran’s main filmmakers’ union has called on the authorities to release dissident filmmaker Jafar Panahi on January 17. AFP/Behrouz Mehri
Opposing the regime, the director, Golden Lion 2000 for The circle and Golden Bear 2015 for Taxi Tehranhas been incarcerated since July 2022.
The main union of Iranian filmmakers called on Tuesday, January 17, the authorities to release the dissident director Jafar Panahi, detained since July, according to their organization. “The Maison du Cinéma insists once again on the judicial authorities to consider the possibility of the release of Mr. Jafar Panahi as soon as possible“, indicates the trade union association in a press release published on its site.
Jafar Panahi, 62, one of Iran’s most award-winning filmmakers, was arrested on July 11 and is due to serve a six-year sentence handed down in 2010, according to a court. The House of Cinema, which brings together professional associations in Iran, calls on justice to take into account “physical condition and diseaseby Jafar Panahi, without giving details about his health. The director notably obtained a Golden Lion in 2000 at the Venice Film Festival for “The circle» and the Screenplay Prize at Cannes in 2018 with «Three Faces“, three years after being awarded the Golden Bear in Berlin for “Taxi Tehran».
Jafar Panahi was arrested and then sentenced in 2010 to six years in prison and a 20-year ban on directing or writing films, traveling or even speaking in the media. However, he continued to work and live in Iran. He had been sentenced forpropaganda against the regimeafter supporting the 2009 protest movement against the re-election of conservative Islamist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as President of the Islamic Republic.
In July 2022, Jafar Panahi was arrested in court in Tehran where he had gone to follow the case of another award-winning director, Mohammad Rasoulof, arrested a few days earlier. Last Wednesday, the latter’s lawyer announced to AFP that Mohammad Rasoulof had been released on January 7 for two weeks for health reasons.
In addition, justice sentenced the documentary filmmaker Mojgan Ilanlou “to six years in prison and 74 lashes for conspiracy against security“, announced Tuesday the Shargh newspaper on its site. She is “detained for 90 days and spent 40 days of that time in solitary confinement“, specified the same source. According to local media, Mojgan Ilanlou had posted photos on Instagram at the end of September of herself during a walk in Tehran without wearing the Muslim veil compulsory in Iran.
Finally, several personalities from Iranian cinema have been arrested, arrested or worried for having supported the protest movement sparked by the death in detention on September 16 of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian Kurd aged 22.