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Saturday, November 22, 2014 03:27

Jail term confirmed for Iranian filmmakers

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Jafar Panahi, Mohammad Rasoulof

An Iranian appellate court has confirmed the prison sentence of Iranian filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof.

Iranian media report that the two filmmakers have been convicted of “activity against national security and propaganda activities against the regime,” with Jafar Panahi receiving a six-year sentence and Rasoulof getting one year.

Panahi has also been banned from filmmaking, scriptwriting and media activities for 20 years.

Panahi is only allowed to travel abroad for Haj [pilgrimage] purposes or emergency medical reasons, and only after posting bail.

The preliminary sentence was handed to Panahi last December, which prevented him from attending the Berlin Film Festival, where he had been selected as a jury member.

Panahi was arrested twice during the widespread protests that sprang up after the 2009 election over allegations that President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad had been re-elected through vote fraud.

After his second arrest, Panahi was imprisoned for more than three months and was only released on bail after going on a week-long hunger strike.

Rasoulof had been also sentenced to six years in prison in the preliminary court, but his sentenced was reduced to one year by the appellate court.

The international film community has challenged the Islamic Republic’s treatment of the two filmmakers and repeatedly called for their release.