Iranian film director on hunger strike in prison
An Iranian director arrested last summer – weeks before his latest film was released and widely acclaimed – went on a hunger strike to protest his continued detention for more than four months. anti-government protests.
afar Panahi, whose films have moved critics and won numerous international awards, have made a statement that he will refuse food and medicine “to protest illegal and inhuman behaviour”. direction of the judiciary and security apparatus”.
He is one of a number of Iranian artists, sports figures and other celebrities detained after speaking out against Iran’s theocracy.
Such arrests have become increasingly frequent since nationwide protests broke out in September over the death of a young woman in police custody.
Panahi, 62, was sentenced to six years in prison in 2011 for conducting propaganda against the government, although the sentence was never carried out.
Banned from traveling and making films, he continued to make underground films that were released overseas and received acclaim.
He was arrested in July when he went to the Tehran prosecutor’s office to inquire about the arrest of two other Iranian filmmakers.
A judge later ruled that he must serve the previous sentence.
His latest film, No Bears, in which he plays a fictionalized version of himself while making films along the Iran-Turkish border, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September. a week before the protests began.
The New York Times and Associated Press named it one of the 10 best films of the year, while film critic Justin Chang of The Los Angeles Times called it the best movie of 2022.
Protests erupted after Mahsa Amini, 22, died while in the custody of Iran’s ethics police for allegedly violating the country’s strict Muslim dress code.
The protests quickly escalated into calls to oust Iran’s ruling clerics, a major challenge to its four-decade-long rule.
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On Wednesday, about 100 people took part in a protest in the western Iranian city of Abdanan, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.
It said five “rioters” suffered minor injuries when security forces intervened and 10 people were arrested.
Iran severely restricts media access to protests and periodically shuts down the internet, making it difficult to confirm specific incidents or gauge the scale of ongoing protests. .
At least 527 protesters have been killed and more than 19,500 detained since the protests began, according to human rights activists in Iran, a group that closely monitors the unrest.
Iranian authorities have not released official figures on the number of people killed or arrested.
Taraneh Alidoosti, the 38-year-old star of Asghar Farhadi’s 2016 Oscar-winning film The Salesman, was arrested in December after taking to social media to criticize the suppression of protests.
She was released on bail three weeks later.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/iranian-film-director-goes-on-hunger-strike-in-prison-42324946.html Iranian film director on hunger strike in prison