Jafar Panahi: Iran Says Acclaimed Filmmaker To Serve Out 6-Year Sentence

Jafar Panahi: Iran Says Acclaimed Filmmaker To Serve Out 6-Year Sentence

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Iran’s
judiciary
ordered
one
of
the
country’s
leading
filmmakers,
Jafar
Panahi,
to
serve
out
a
six-year
prison
sentence
from
a
decade
ago
that
had
never
been
enforced.
The
order
came
as
the
government
seeks
to
silence
criticism
amid
growing
economic
turmoil
and
political
pressure.

Masoud
Setayeshi,
spokesman
for
Iran’s
judiciary,
announced
that
award-winning
director
Jafar
Panahi,
perhaps
Iran’s
best-known
film
director,
would
fulfill
his
six-year
prison
term
handed
down
in
2011
on
charges
of
producing
anti-government
propaganda,
a
final
verdict
that
he
said
should
have
been
implemented
at
the
time.

Jafar Panahi in the film 3 Faces

Although
Panahi
was
banned
from
travelling
over
the
past
years,
the
sentence
was
never
enforced
and
he
continued
to
make
underground
films,
which
were
released
abroad
to
great
acclaim.
He
has
won
multiple
festival
awards,
including
the
2015
Berlin
Golden
Bear
for

Taxi
.

His
defiant
films
about
poverty,
sexism,
violence
and
censorship
in
the
Islamic
Republic
long
have
angered
the
government.

Authorities
detained
Panahi
last
week
when
he
visited
the
Tehran
prosecutor’s
office
to
inquire
about
the
cases
of
fellow
detained
dissident
filmmakers,
Mohamad
Rasoulof
and
Mostafa
al-Ahmad.

Rasoulof
and
al-Ahmad
were
swept
up
earlier
this
month
on
charges
of
undermining
the
nation’s
security
by
voicing
opposition
on
social
media
to
the
government’s
violent
crackdown
on
unrest
in
the
country’s
southwest.

Panahi’s
detention
in
Iran’s
Evin
Prison
has
drawn
widespread
criticism
from
rights
groups,
shining
light
on
a
wave
of
repression
hitting
not
only
the
country’s
celebrated
cinema
industry
but
also
activists
and
protesters.

The
government
has
escalated
its
crackdown
on
dissent,
as
it
seeks
to
prevent
the
Iranian
currency,
the
rial,
from
crashing.

Talks
to
revive
Tehran’s
tattered
nuclear
deal
with
world
powers
remain
deadlocked,
and
desperation
over
the
economic
crisis
is
deepening
with
no
sanctions
relief
in
sight.

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