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Family of award-winning film director Panahi is released

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2010-03-05

Iranian authorities have released the wife and daughter of internationally-acclaimed film-maker Jafar Panahi, along with 12 other people arrested at his home on Monday. But the pro-opposition director remains in custody.

AFP - Iranian authorities have freed 14 people arrested at award-winning filmmaker Jafar Panahi's home but the pro-opposition director remains detained, an opposition website said on Thursday.

Kaleme.com said Panahi's wife and their daughter were among the 14 released late on Wednesday, adding that Panahi and two other people, Mohammad Rassoulof and Mehdi Pourmoussa, were still being held.

According to the website, at least six human rights activists, including women's rights militant Mahboubeh Karami, were among the group of 17 people arrested overnight on Monday.

Apart from Panahi, the other five were identified as Hessam Firouzi, Behzad Mehrani, Navid Khanjani, Mansour Taghipour and Aboufazl Abedini.

The filmmaker, a vocal backer of the opposition movement, was arrested along with his wife, daughter and their guests when security forces raided his home in Tehran.

Media reports said Panahi was arrested for making a film about the unrest which rocked the Islamic republic after the June 12 disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Panahi was producing "an anti-regime film with his colleagues but the security apparatus vigilantly discovered their moves and they were arrested," said leading conservative news website Tabnak.

Opposition website Rahesabz echoed the report and said: "Intelligence officials said Panahi and a movie crew were making an unauthorised film about the incidents linked with the election at his home."

But his son, Panah Panahi, has denied the reports.

And on Tuesday, Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said Panahi was not arrested for political reasons or because he is an artist. He was "accused of some crimes and arrested with another person following an order by a judge."

Panahi, 49, is known for his gritty, socially critical movies such as the "Circle," which bagged the 2000 Venice Golden Lion award, "Crimson Gold," and "Offside," winner of the 2006 Silver Bear at the Berlin film festival.

In February, the authorities banned Panahi from leaving the country to attend the Berlin film festival.

Date created : 2010-03-04

  • IRAN

    Acclaimed film-maker Jafar Panahi is arrested

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