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The imprisonment of Actresses in Iran; new developements in suppressing women

07/25/11 By Sepideh Yousefzadeh, Feminist School

A month ago Marzieh Vafamehr, who is an actress as well producer of documentaries was detained and sent to the notorious Gharechak-Varamin prison which is known as not a prison but a torture chamber without the least of facilities. Her husband, Naser Taghvaie said: the accusations against his wife are not political but "Sharie" ,"according to the religion"!

Marzieh Vafamehr
Marzieh Vafamehr

Marzieh's colleagues, Pegah Ahangarani and Mahnaz Mohammadi both actresses are kept in Ward 209 of the Evin prison. Apart from them more than 30 women are currently serving prison terms in the Evin prison on political charges. Outside Tehran and in Shiraz, Maryam Bahreman is still in prison although she has paid a heavy bail out money. All these women reflect their generation.

Pegah Ahangarani

In a note on The facebook of the Feminist School, Sepideh Yusefzadeh remembers Marzieh:

" I only saw her once in a big crowd where she sat silently and never opened her mouth. She is the generation of war years. Documentaries about the effect of Iran-Iraq war on the schools of those years showed the cold, revolutionary atmosphere.

"Early morning exercise in the school yard commanded by women with their eyes behind large glasses and their hair hidden under thick scarves and their outfit: a long, dark dress which widened as it went down to the ankle. Coarse voiced and no smile, they would jump up and down reciting war songs and us students forced to jump up and down with them!"

Mahnaz Mohammadi
Mahnaz Mohammadi

Yet, Marzieh showed the hustle and bustle of modern Tehran and the suppression of people in her films. As it was demonstrated in "The Sale of My Tehran" made by Gozanaz Mousavi . They showed a different generation in Iran: modern, sophisticated, full of joy and an urge to show to the world their underground music and the joy of life. A generation who broke the taboos and did not fit into the mould. A generation who is frightened of the revolution and at the same time frightens. A generation who went round the revolution and its ideological teachings and the two TV channels and learned to say NO!

All these women of cinema, Marzieh, Pegah and Mahnaz are now in prison. All are the portray of an action in the hard days.

Women of Iran who are half the population will demonstrate one day that they will be more than "Half.

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