Famous Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi has gone on a hunger strike to protest his detention in Tehran while his sentence has been declared void by the country’s Supreme Court.
Tahereh Saeidi, Panahi’s wife, announced his hunger strike Wednesday publishing Panahi’s statement on her Instagram sent from the notorious Evin Prison where most political prisoners are kept.
“I firmly declare that in protest against the illegal and inhumane behavior of the judicial and security apparatus and their hostage-taking, I have started a hunger strike since the morning of February 1… I will refuse to eat and drink any food and take medicine until the time of my release,” reads his statement.
The director was imprisoned in early July after going to Evin prison to enquire about the whereabouts of his other renowned filmmakers Mohammad Rasoulof and Mostafa Al-Ahmad following their arrest a few days earlier.
Later, it was announced the Iranian authorities had decided to reactivate a six-year sentence originally meted out to Panahi in 2010 alongside a 20-year filmmaking and travel ban.
The charges were connected to his attendance at the funeral of a student who was shot dead in 2009 during the Green Movement protests and his later attempt to shoot a feature about the uprising.
In October, Iran’s Supreme Court announced that Panahi’s sentence had passed the country’s ten-year statute of limitations. Accordingly, this should have granted Panahi immediate release, but he is still behind bars.