Arrest of Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi and New Pressure on Independent Filmmakers
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

On Monday night, a few minutes past 10:00 p.m., Jafar Panahi, his wife, and his daughter, along with close to 15 guests at their home were arrested, culminating months of obvious and hidden pressure on the independent filmmaker from Iran’s Ministry of Information.

Reacting to the news of the arrest, Tehran Prosecutor told state news agencies: “His arrest is not because he is an artist and is not political, either. This individual is a suspect for some crimes. He and another individual have been arrested with orders from the case judge, and investigations on the matter are continuing.” Previously, Panahi had been arrested at Tehran’s Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery while laying flowers on the graves of some protesters killed during the post-elections protests; he was released within a few hours.

In a news article, Tabnak Web site says that Panahi’s arrest is because of a film he is making and the people arrested at his home, including his wife and daughter, were all involved in the production of the film. The conservative Web site states that the new film’s direction is anti-state. Panahi is an independent filmmaker who is known for his courage for expressing his views. He has made acclaimed films such as “The White Balloon,” “Circle,” and “Offside.”

In an interview with Kaleme news Web site, his son has said that his father was making a new film project which had all the necessary permits and it is not true that the film is anti-state... >>>