Iran’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili

Iranian Minister Says Dissident Artists Must Express Remorse To Return To Work

Monday, 04/17/2023

The Iranian regime is demanding dissident artists “express remorse” for political protests before they are allowed to work again.

The call by Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili, Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, comes despite reports in Iran local media that the judiciary has removed the names of all protesting artists from its blacklist.

Esmaili told reporters on Sunday that he will not allow dissidents to work, saying only those who "express remorse" will be given a platform.

A large number of artists have given their support to the widespread "Woman Life Freedom" protests against the regime.

Last November, a committee affiliated with Iran’s professional film association House of Cinema listed 100 filmmakers, musicians and theater artists who were arrested or banned from leaving the country amid the demonstrations.

House of Cinema said in January that due to the regime’s crackdown, "most of the famous actors and directors" have been banned and the contracts of some have been terminated.

In March, the Iranian government imposed a property ban on artists for supporting the protest movement.

Popular singer Mehdi Yarahi posted a document on Instagram showing that he is banned from buying and selling property.

Yarahi added that he is banned from transactions that need to be registered officially, along with famous actress Taraneh Alidousti, film director Asghar Farhadi and prominent musician Kayhan Kalhor.

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