Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Film Director Jafar Panahi on Hunger Strike in Evin Prison

Internationally acclaimed Iranian director has made several movies addressing laws and customs in Iran that discriminate against women.  In "Offside," young women dress and men to gain entrance into a soccer stadium where women are forbidden.

Panahi was arrested in early March 2010 in Iran, "culminating months of obvious and hidden pressure on the independent filmmaker from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence" the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported. Jafar Panahi is on hunger strike, and his demands for ending his hunger strike include contact and visits with his family, consultation with and representation by a lawyer, unconditional release until his trial date and final verdict, and in case he dies soon, that his body be delivered to his family to bury wherever they like. ICHRI reports that Panahi stated in his letter dated 18 May 2010, ”I have not taken any food or liquids since Sunday morning [16 May 2010], and I would like to announce that unless the following demands are met, I will continue to refrain from eating and drinking, as I do not wish to turn into a guinea pig who is put under various torture, psychological and mental abuse, and subjected to false accusations...I swear upon the cinema in which I believe, that I will not stop my hunger strike until my demands are met...”

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