Awarded several times internationally, the 62-year-old Iranian was sentenced in 2010 to six years in prison and a 20-year ban on directing or writing films, traveling or speaking in the media, for “Propaganda against the regime”.

Iranian dissident director Jafar Panahi, Golden Bear for Best Film at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival, was arrested on Monday (July 11) in Iran, the Iranian news agency reported. Moreover. “Jafar Panahi was arrested today (Monday 11 July) when he went to the Tehran prosecutor’s office to follow up on another director’s file, Mohammad Rasoulof“, detained since Friday, July 8, second Moreover.

Mohammad Rasoulof and his colleague Mostafa Aleahmad had been arrested by the authorities for “disturbance of public order”. They are accused of encouraging demonstrations after the collapse of a building that killed 43 people in the southwest of the country in May 2022, according to the official Irna news agency.

Led by Mohammad Rasoulof, a group of Iranian filmmakers, including Jafar Panahi, published an open letter in late May inviting the security forces “lay down your arms” in the face of anger “the corruption” And “incompetence” officials, after the tragedy of the collapse of the building.

“There is still no information on the reason for Panahi’s arrest, his connection with the Rasoulof case or with other people arrested last week”, clarified Moreover. In recent times, the Iranian authorities have carried out numerous arrests, including a figure of the reformist movement Mostafa Tajzadeh, detained and accused of“activities against state security”.

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Already convicted in 2010

Dissident artist Jafar Panahi was sentenced in 2010 to six years in prison and a 20-year ban on directing or writing films, traveling or expressing himself in the media, for “propaganda against the regime”, after supporting the 2009 protest movement against the re-election of the ultra-conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as President of the Islamic Republic. However, he continued to live and work in Iran.

Arrested in March 2010, the award-winning filmmaker (Leone d’Oro in Venice for The circle and Camera d’or in Cannes for The white ball) had not been able to tread the red carpet of the Croisette where he was to be part of the jury. Banned from filming in his country and banned from leaving Iranian territory, Jafar Panahi was unable to receive the script award that was awarded to him in Cannes in 2018 for three faces shot in secret.

Mohammad Rasoulof and Mostafa Aleahmad, arrested on Friday, are accused of encouraging protests after the deadly collapse of a building in the country’s southwest in May, according to the official Irna news agency. After the tragedy, a group of Iranian filmmakers led by Mohammad Rasoulof published an open letter in late May inviting the security forces “lay down your arms” in the face of anger “the corruption” And “incompetence” managers.MM. Panahi and Rasoulof had also denounced in mid-May with other Iranian directors and actors the arrest of many of their colleagues in Iran.

Repression and censorship constitute “A violation of freedom of expression” And “minimize the security of administrators”, they denounced in an open letter.

The Cannes Film Festival gave them its support. Its direction “strongly condemns these arrests as well as the wave of repression visibly taking place in Iran against its artists, and calls for the immediate release of Mohammad Rasoulof, Mostafa Aleahmad and Jafar Panahi”, the festival wrote in a note. The organizers of the Berlinale, who in 2020 awarded Rasoulof the supreme distinction, protested last week against the arrest of the director and his colleague, demanding the release of the two artists.

Mohammad Rasoulof, 50, won the Golden Bear in Berlin in 2020 for his film The devil does not exist but he could not travel to Germany. His passport was confiscated after his previous feature film in 2017, A man of integrity, presented in Cannes, where it won the prize in the “Un Certain Regard” category.

In recent times, the Iranian authorities have carried out numerous arrests, including a figure of the reform movement, Mostafa Tajzadeh, arrested on Friday on charges of“Activities against state security”.


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