Iran Arrests Filmmaker Who Backed Opposition
New York Times / Nazila Fathi

Iranian authorities raided the home of a prominent filmmaker, Jaffar Panahi, early Tuesday morning and arrested him, his wife and daughter, along with 15 guests, the opposition Web site Jaras reported.

Mr. Panahi, 49, had supported the opposition movement and appeared in international film festivals outside the country wearing a green scarf, in the trademark color of the opposition. His films, which are not considered political, have won awards at the Chicago, Cannes and Berlin film festivals.

Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi confirmed his arrest on Tuesday, saying Mr. Panahi had been arrested for committing “certain offenses,” the official IRNA news agency reported.

He did not elaborate on the offenses, but said that the arrest was not related to Mr. Panahi’s “profession or to politics.”

Mr. Panahi was briefly detained last summer during the funeral of a 19-year-old protester who was believed to have been killed by government forces. His passport was confiscated and he was barred from leaving the country.

His arrest appeared to fit a pattern of the intimidation of prominent artists who support the antigovernment movement. The authorities briefly detained a well-known singer, Shahram Nazeri, in December. Mr. Nazeri had sung in support of the movement. Mehraneh Atashi, a photographer, has been jailed since January.

Mazdak Taebi, a filmmaker and friend of Mr. Panahi’s, said about 15 plainclothes officers arri... >>>

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