An award-wining Iranian filmmaker said authorities raided the offices and homes of several filmmakers and other industry professionals and arrested some of them.
Mohammad Rasoulof said in a statement signed by dozens of movie industry professionals on his Instagram account late Saturday that security forces made some arrests and confiscated film production equipment during raids conducted in recent days. The statement condemned the actions and called them “illegal.”
In a separate Instagram post, Rasoulof identified two of the detained filmmakers as Firouzeh Khosravani and Mina Keshavarz. Rasoulof was not targeted in the recent raids.
Iranian media and authorities have not commented on the raids and no additional details were immediately available. Authorities in Iran occasionally arrest activists in cultural fields over alleged security violations.
Rasoulof won the Berlin Film Festival’s top prize in 2020 for his film “There Is No Evil.” It tells four stories loosely connected to the themes of the death penalty in Iran and personal freedoms under tyranny.
Shortly after receiving the award, he was sentenced to a year in prison for three films he made that authorities found to be “propaganda against the system.” His lawyer appealed the sentence. He was also banned from making films and traveling abroad.
Iran’s conservative authorities, many with religious sensibilities, control all the levers of power in Iran.
They have long viewed many cultural activities as part of a “soft war” by the West against the Republic. They say Westernization is attempting to tarnish the country’s religious beliefs.
Protests triggered by price hikes spread in IranProtests broke out in several Iranian cities late on Friday for a third consecutive night following a sharp rise in the prices of staple foods, videos ... Middle East
Iran has capacity to double oil exports if market needs more barrels: OfficialIran has capacity to double oil exports if there’s sufficient demand, a top official said, even as a deal on the country’s nuclear program that could ... Energy
Iranian lawmaker says one killed during protest against rising pricesOne person was killed during a protest in southwestern Iran against a government decision to raise the costs of basic goods, an MP told Iranian media ... Middle East