Filmmaker Jafar Panahi on hunger strike to protest against “the inhumane behavior of the judiciary and security apparatus” in Iran

Award-winning Iranian director Jafar Panahi, imprisoned in Tehran for six months, said he started a hunger strike to protest his conditions of detention, reports a statement published Thursday, February 2 by his wife, Tahereh Saeidi, on his page Instagram. Jafar Panahi, whose films have won awards at several European film festivals, was arrested in July even before the start of the wave of protests that has rocked the Iranian regime since September. Despite hopes for his release last month, Jafar Pahani remains imprisoned in Evin prison in Tehran.

“Hostage taking”

“Today, like many people trapped in Iran, I have no choice but to protest against this inhumane behavior with what I hold most dear: my life,” he said.he said. “I will refuse to eat and drink and take any medicine until I am released”continues the filmmaker who denounces “THE inhuman behavior of the judicial and security apparatus (Iranian)” and the “specific hostage-taking” of which it is the subject.

She hunger strike started on February 1st. “I will remain in this state until, perhaps, my lifeless body is released from prison”, he added. Aged 62, Jafar Pahani was arrested on July 11 and was forced to serve a six-year prison sentence handed down in 2010 for “propaganda against the system”.

New trial

But on October 15, the Supreme Court overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial, giving his lawyers hope for release. In the message sent by his wife, he recalls the conditions of his arrest. It came in July after he attended the court hearing of another director, Mohammad Rasoulof, who was arrested days earlier. The latter was released from prison on January 7, 2023 after being granted a two-week leave for health reasons.

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Film personalities are among thousands arrested in Iran in a crackdown on protests sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian Kurd arrested for allegedly breaking a strict dress code for women. Actress Taraneh Alidoosti, who posted images of herself not wearing an Islamic veil, was among those detained before being released in early January after nearly three weeks in detention.

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