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10/11/09

Iranian filmmaker Makhmalbaf dedicates his award to opposition leader Karroubi

Report by Radio Zamaneh

Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf won the Lifetime Achievement Award at Nuremberg Human Rights Film Festival today. Makhmalbaf dedicated his award to Mehdi Karroubi, the disputing candidate of Iran's June presidential elections.


Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Nuremberg Human Rights Film Festival is an independent biennial festival which takes place in October after the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award has been awarded.

While receiving his award, Mr. Makhmalbaf declared: "The giving and receiving of awards in today's world must become an act of democratic struggle. I dedicate my prize to the great man who bravely revealed the rape of detainees in Iranian prisons."

He added: "Many Iranians have proposed him as a candidate for next year's Nobel Peace Prize. In a society that oppression governs through creating fear, he pushes back the borders of fear."

He went on to say: "Over thirty years ago, I was tortured in the Shah's prisons along with him (Mehdi Karroubi). Even then he was as courageous as he is today. In the past 30 years, in every position he has held, he has defended human rights and every prisoner and victim of oppression has a memory of his support. He is far more deserving of this prize than I am."


Mehdi Karroubi

In the aftermath of the mass demonstrations in protest to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election, which protesters claimed was fraudulent, over 4000 people were arrested in Iran. Despite strong resistance from authorities and threats from conservative political figures, Mehdi Karroubi called for a public investigation into reports of detainee rape and torture and has been adamantly pursuing his demand for justice.

Mehdi Karroubi, a Shiite cleric and reformist politician is the head of Iran's National Trust Party. Twice he has served as the speaker of Iran's parliament.

The sixth Nuremberg Human Rights Film Festival went from September 30 to October 11 and had a spotlight on Iranian cinema this year.

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