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Jail and gag for film-maker Panahi

sentenced to 6 years in prison and 20 in silence

Update 23 December
The 26th section of Tehran's Islamic Court condemned the Iranian film director Jafar Panahi, 49 years old, to a 6-year prison term, with the prohibition to make films or leave the Country for at least 20 years. So says his lawyer, Farideh Gheirat.

The film-maker will have to serve 5 years in prison over taking part in an illegal "organization aimed at subverting the State" and another year over "propaganda activities tarnishing the image of the Islamic Republic". To this the regime added 20-year long a prohibitio to direct all sort of movies, writing any scripts, release interviews to the domestic and foreign press" and to "go abroad unless for health issues or to have a pilgrimage in Mecca upon bail to be established".

Mobilization of the French intellectuals against the condemnation of the director "suspected of wishing to shoot a documentary on the Green Wave".

The indignation of French intellectuals in Le Monde (in French)

24 November
"Don’t kill my ideas"
the self-defense of Iranian director Jafar Panahi

Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi was jailed for shooting a movie about the anti-governmental protesta which took place in Tehran. After being rleased following a broad international mobilization he used Facebook to publish his defense at the trial held in the past days.

The dvds he kept at home were seized and cost him the arrest over possess of obscene material: " I do not comprehend the charge of obscenity directed at the classics of the film history, nor do I understand the crime I am accused of. If these charges are true, you are putting not only us on trial but the socially conscious, humanistic, and artistic Iranian cinema as well, a cinema which tries to stay beyond good and evil, a cinema that does not judge nor surrender to power or money but tries to honestly reflect a realistic image of the society".

"History testifies that an artist's mind is the analytical mind of his society. By learning about the culture and history of his country, by observing the events that occur in his surroundings, he sees, analyzes and presents issues of the day through his art form to the society.
How can anyone be accused of any crime because of his mind and what passes through the mind?- wonders the film-maker. The assassination of ideas and sterilizing artists of a society has only one result: killing the roots of art and creativity. Arresting my colleagues and I while shooting an unfinished film is nothing but an attack by those in power on all the artists of this land”.

" I would like to remind the court of yet an other ironic fact about my imprisonment: the space given to Jafar Panahi's festival awards in Tehran’s Museum of Cinema is much larger than his cell in prison? All said, despite all the injustice done to me, I, Jafar Panahi, declare once again that I am an Iranian, I am staying in my country and I like to work in my own country".

selfdefense on Facebook

21 December 2010

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