Thursday, December 23, 2010

Free Jafar Panahi

My original intention was to take a break during this holiday season from writing, however with what we are seeing with Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi and fellow filmmaker Muhammad Rasoulof being sentenced to six years each in Iranian jails for making films is not only an outrage for cinema but much more importantly for basic human rights. Being silent is not definitely not an option.

On December 20th, 2010 Jafar Panahi and Muhammad Rasoulof were sentenced by the Iranian government to serve six years in prison for making a film about the Ahmadinejad election. Also part of the sentence are the stipulations that Mr. Panahi not make films, write screenplays, grant interviews or leave Iran for twenty years. Jafar is currently fifty years old so you can take those stipulations to their logical conclusion. You can read more about the case from this L.A. Times article here.

I strongly urge you to take a second to add your name to a petition demanding the release of Jafar Panahi.

There are many petitions online, here is a link to one of them. Petition. 

 Adding your name to a petition is not only demanding freedom for Mr. Panahi but for all political prisoners of the current Iranian government.

Here is a video I found to give you a glimpse of what life - if you can still call it that - is like inside Iranian prison.

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