Iran’s judiciary says award-winning Iranian film director Jafar Panahi has been sent to Evin prison to serve his six-year sentence.
Judiciary spokesperson Masoud Setayeshi made the remarks on Tuesday, about a week after Panahi was arrested as he was protesting the detention of two other filmmakers -- Mohammad Rasoulof and Mostafa Alehahmad -- at the prosecutor’s office of the Evin prison.
Setayeshi said that Panahi is sentenced to six years in prison – five years for “conspiracy and collusion against national security” and one year for “propaganda against the system,” adding that the decree is final and binding, according to which he was detained in Evin prison to serve his sentence on July 11.
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 once arrested in March 2010 and in December 2010, he was sentenced to six years in prison and a 20-year work ban.
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.
Earlier in the week, the Cannes Film Festival, the Berlinale, the European Film Academy and the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk also called for the immediate release of the filmmakers. France has also urged Tehran to release the three.