Director and actress prevented from leaving Iran: reports

TEHRAN — An international award-winning film director and a top actress who are both supporters of the opposition have been prevented from leaving Iran, news agencies reported on Friday.

“On Wednesday evening I wanted to fly to France, but my passport was confiscated at Khomeini Airport and I was unable to leave,” the semi-official ILNA news agency quoted director Jafar Panahi as saying.

“A security agent showed me a document that said I was not authorised to leave, and that I had to present myself to the authorities,” he added.

On July 30, Panahi and members of his family were arrested in a Tehran cemetery at an opposition protest in memory of demonstrators killed in street violence after the June 12 presidential election, which the opposition said was rigged.

They were released shortly afterwards.

Panahi told ILNA that from France he had been due to fly on to India where he was to have been on the jury of two film festivals.

The celebrated new wave director in Iran is a past winner of the top prizes at the Venice and Berlin film festivals, but despite international success Panahi’s work has been generally censored inside his native country.

The ISNA news agency also reported that celebrated actress Fatemeh Motamed-Aria was prevented from leaving the country on October 8.

The star of more than 40 films, many of them themed on social issues, is known to favour reform in Iranian … >>>

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