Iranian director Jafar Panahi, imprisoned for nearly seven months in Iran, was released on bail on Friday, the NGO Center for Human Rights in Iran
(CHRI, based in New York)
Panahi, whose films have won awards at several European film festivals, was released "two days after starting a hunger strike", according to the CHRI.
Iranian newspaper Shargh published a photo of Panahi hugging a supporter after his release from Evin prison in Tehran.
#جعفر_پناهی آاد شد
جعفر پناهی کاردان و فیلمساز به طور موقت از زندان اوین آآاد شد.
— شرق (@SharghDaily) February 3, 2023
“Today, like many people trapped in Iran, I have no choice but to protest against this inhumane behavior with what I hold dearest: my life,” he lamented in a published statement. Thursday by his wife.
“I will refuse to eat and drink and take any medicine until I am released.
Happy to report that filmmaker #JafarPanahi has been released on bail in #Iran two days after starting his hunger strike for freedom: https://t.co/oia4KydFiE.
Many other film industry workers remain arbitrarily jailed: https://t.co/EpLVCd05ZQ.#Mahsa_Amini #جعفر_پناهی https://t.co/A23HlTYvJy pic.twitter.com/XYJMSPqVzn
— IranHumanRights.org (@ICHRI) February 3, 2023
“Propaganda against the system”
Jafar Pahani, 62, was arrested on July 11 and served a six-year prison sentence handed down in 2010 for “propaganda against the system”.
But on October 15, the Supreme Court overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial, giving his lawyers hope for release.
Jafar Panahi won a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2000 for his film “Le Cercle”.
In 2015, he was awarded a Golden Bear in Berlin for "Taxi Tehran", and in 2018 he won the Best Screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival for "Three Faces".
His arrest in July came after he attended the court hearing of another director, Mohammad Rasoulof, who was arrested days earlier.
The latter was released from prison on January 7 after being granted a two-week leave for health reasons.
Cinema personalities are among the thousands arrested in Iran in connection with the crackdown on protests.