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Iran's Artist Community Demands Release of Filmmaker Jafar Panahi

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Jafar Panahi

A group of Iranian filmmakers and artists issued a letter calling for the release of their peers, Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Nourizadeh.

45 Iranian artists in an open letter to Islamic Republic officials demanded the release of prominent filmmaker, Jafar Panahi and journalist, Mohammad Nourizadeh.

The signatories call on the government to respect everyone's right to freedom of expression through films, speech and professional creativity and also urged the authorities to recognize the people's right to protest against violations of their social, professional and citizen rights.

The letter is signed by prominent members of Iran's filmmaking and artistic community such as Bahram Beizai, Masoud Kimiayi and Rakhshan Bani-Etemad.

Jafar Panahi was arrested on March 13 at his home along with other members of his family and several guests who were attending a party at his home.

Mohammad Nourizadeh was also arrested over three months ago and is currently still in prison.

The international community of filmmakers and artists also reacted to the imprisonment of Jafar Panahi by writing a letter to the Iranian judiciary calling for the release of the detained filmmaker. A group of international filmmakers and writers along with their Iranian peers in exile signed a letter addressed to Iranian authorities maintaining that there is no valid cause for the arrest and continued incarceration of Jafar Panahi.

A group of well-known Iranian filmmakers also gathered in front of Evin Prison in Tehran on Monday to demand the release of Jafar Panahi and other political prisoners.

In the past week, as Iranians are ushering in their New Year, scores of families of the recent detainees have been gathering in front of Evin Prison demanding the release of their loved ones out of respect for the occasion.

Traditionally, Iranian judiciary does release prisoners to spend Norooz with their family and while several prominent prisoners have been released in recent days, many still remain behind bars.

... Payvand News - 03/23/10 ... --

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