Jafar Panahi, prominent Iranian filmmaker was sentenced to six years in prison and 20 years ban from filmmaking and travelling abroad.
Caught in "Offside"
Panahi had openly displayed support for the Green Opposition Movement
ISNA reports that Farideh Gheyrat, Panahi's lawyer has
announced that she will appeal this "unusually heavy sentence."
Panahi was arrested twice in the post-election protests to the alleged vote fraud that secured Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory in the 2009 presidential elections.
He was first arrested in August of 2009 at a commemoration ceremony for the victims who were killed in the post-election street demonstrations by government forces.
He was later arrested in March 2010 in a raid of his home. He was arrested with his family and guests, and a number of pro-government media suggested that he was arrested for planning a film about the protests.
While all the detainees of that night were released, Panahi remained in custody
in an undetermined legal state for over three months and finally after a week on
hunger strike, he was released on a $200,000 bail.
His trial was finally held in November after many delays and in it Panahi denied the charges against him and described the attacks against him as an attack on the totality of Iran's art and culture community.
Panahi has been prevented by the Islamic Republic from attending a number of international film festivals including the Berlin and Venice festivals this year.
Jafar Panahi on the red carpet, closing ceremony of the Montreal World Film Festival. September 7, 2009
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