The Cannes Film Festival has called for the immediate release of filmmakers Mohammad Rasoulof, Mostafa Alehahmad and Jafar Panahi, detained by Iran in recent days.

In a statement released on Monday, Cannes organizers said, “The Festival de Cannes strongly condemns these arrests as well as the wave of repression obviously in progress in Iran against its artists.”

Panahi, who has won numerous awards, including the Golden Leopard at Locarno Festival, the Golden Lion in Venice, and the Silver Bear at the Berlinale, was arrested Monday as he was protesting the detention of two other award-winning filmmakers Mohammad Rasoulof and Mostafa Alehahmad. 

The Berlinale, the European Film Academy and the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk have also spoken out against their arrest. 

“We are deeply concerned about the arrest of Mohammad Rasoulof and Mostafa Al-Ahmad. It’s shocking that artists are taken into custody because of their peaceful endeavors against violence,” Berlinale organizers said. 

Rasoulof – another prominent filmmaker with several international awards such as the Golden Bear – and Alehahmad – who is known in international film galas for his short works -- were arrested July 8 as part of the Iranian crackdown on the signatories of a collective statement titled “Lay down the gun issued by more than 100 film industry personalities in the end of May.

The statement called on military and security forces who “have become tools for cracking down on the people,” not to suppress protesters during a wave of protests across Iran that were triggered when a 10-story building collapsed in Abadan, leaving at least 40 people dead and dozens missing.

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