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Freedom of SpeechIran

Iran filmmaker must serve 6-year sentence

July 19, 2022

The Iranian filmmaker was arrested last month after decrying the detention of other artists in Iran. Jafar Panahi is one of several filmmakers who have been arrested in the country.

Jafar Panahi in a scene for his film "Three Faces"
Panahi is known for award-winning films that critique modern IranImage: Weltkino Filmverleih GmbH/dpa/picture alliance

Award-winning Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi must serve the full six-year prison sentence given to him in 2010, Iran's judicial authorities ruled on Tuesday. The international prizewinner was arrested earlier this month along with two other prominent filmmakers from the country. 

"Panahi had been sentenced in 2010 to a total of six years in prison... and therefore he was entered to the detention center of Evin to serve his sentence there," judiciary spokesman Massoud Setayeshi told reporters.

The filmmaker was arrested by Iranian authorities amid accusations of anti-government activity and committing security offenses. Panahi had criticized the arrests of other artists in the country in the month prior to his detainment. 

Jafar Panahi | Mohammad Rasoulof | Mostafa Alahmad
Jafar Panahi, Mohammad Rasoulof and Mostafa Alahmad have all been arrested by Iranian authoritiesImage: dpa/picture alliance/eghtesadnews

A worrying trend of arrests 

France had expressed concern for Panahi, along with two other directors detained in Iran, Mohammad Rasoulof and Mostafa Aleahmad.

The French Foreign Ministry said the arrests highlighted a "worrying deterioration in the situation of artists in Iran."

France is "very concerned by these arrests and those of other Iranian personalities engaged in the defense of freedom of expression in their country," the ministry added.

The 62-year-old has won a number of international awards for his films that critique modern Iran. He was awarded top honors for his film "Taxi” in Berlin in 2015. Panahi also won best screenplay at the Cannes film festival in 2018 for his film "Three Faces".

asw/aw (AFP, Reuters)