May 24, 2010
prepares to release film-maker from Evin prison Iran
The Iranian Government has indicated that it is preparing to release Jafar Panahi, the award-winning film-maker who has been jailed in
“Legal procedures of [Panahi’s] case have been almost completed and there is much hope that he will be released soon,” said
However, Mr Shamaghdari also criticised the high-profile “propaganda” campaign waged by leading international figures in the arts and politics calling for the director to be freed.
Panahi, 49, has been imprisoned since 1 March, when state security forces raided his house in the Iranian capital. He is being held in solitary confinement at
A vocal supporter of the opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi at last year’s disputed general election, Panahi is alleged to have been planning to make an anti-government film centred on the poll and the violent suppression of opposition protests in the weeks that followed.
The opposition claims the poll was rigged to secure the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Panahi’s work has received critical acclaim for its unflinching portrayal of the social tensions in contemporary
This critical stance has led to conflict with government censors. Most of his films have been banned from Iranian cinemas.
Panahi was selected as a juror for this year’s
Fellow Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami issued an open letter during the festival describing his compatriot’s detention as “intolerable” and “an attack on art itself”.
Copyright 2010 Times Newspapers Ltd.
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