1 March 2010

The Arrest of Jafar Panahi and Mohamad Rasoulof

The prominent film director Jafar Panahi was arrested for the second time on March 1 2010. He was taken from his home along with his wife Tahereh Saidi, daughter Solmaz Panahi, and fifteen of his friends by plain-clothes officers to Evin Prison. Most were released 48 hours later, Mohammad Rasoulof and Mehdi Pourmoussa on 17 March 2010, but Panahi remained in ward 209 inside Evin Prison. Panahi's arrest was confirmed by the government, but the charges were not specified.

On  May 18, Panahi sent a message to Abbas Baktiari, director of the Pouya Cultural Center, an Iranian-French cultural organization in Paris, stating that he was being mistreated in prison and his family threatened and as a result started going on a hunger strike. On  May 25, he was released on $200,000 bail.

On  December 20, 2010, Panahi, after being prosecuted for "assembly and colluding with the intention to commit crimes against the country’s national security and propaganda against the Islamic Republic," was given a six-year jail sentence and a 20-year ban on making or directing any movies, writing screenplays, giving any form of interview with Iranian or foreign media as well as leaving the country.

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