Iranian director imprisoned Jafar Panahi started a hunger strike in Evin prison.
The filmmaker’s wife, Tahereh Saeidi, announced the protest action on his Instagram page. In a statement released from his prison cell and sent to The Hollywood Reporter by the director’s publicist, who translated the message, Panahi recounted his recent imprisonment by Iranjudicial to end a six-year prison sentence imposed more than a decade ago.
Panahi, a former Golden Bear winner whose social films have drawn retaliation from the Islamic Republic, said he joined other Iranian filmmakers on July 20 to protest the arrest of two colleagues, for ending up in Evin Prison after being sentenced by a judge.
“This arrest looked more like banditry and hostage taking than the execution of a court sentence,” Panahi wrote. The daring director, whose most recent film, no bear, created in Venice, adds that he will refuse all food, drink and medicine until he is released from prison.
“I will remain in this state until perhaps my lifeless body is released from prison,” Panahi adds. His incarceration drew the attention of international film festivals and activists because it shines a lot on the repression of the national film industry and continue the demonstrations around Women’s rights.
Panahi’s full statement follows, as translated by his representative.
On July 20 of this year, in protest against the arrest of two of our
dear colleagues, Mr. Mohammad Rasulof and Mostafa Al-Ahmad,
with a group of filmmakers gathered in front of Evin prison,
and it was decided that a number of us and the lawyers for the detainees
colleagues walked into the Evin courthouse and quietly We were talking
with the competent authorities and the competent investigator when a
an agent came to take me before the branch 1 judge of the Evin sentence
enforcement. The young judge said without introduction: “We were
looking for you in the heavens, we found you here”.
You are under arrest!” In this way, I was arrested and transferred to
Evin prison for the execution of a sentence which had been pronounced for
Eleven years. According to the law for which I was arrested in 1988,
after more than ten years of non-execution of a The penalty is
subject to the passage of time and becomes unenforceable. Thereby,
this arrest was more akin to banditry and the taking of hostages than to
execution of a court sentence.
Even though my arrest was unlawful, respected lawyers managed to
violating the judgment rendered in 1990 by resuming the proceedings before the
Supreme Court, which is the highest authority for judicial matters, the
on October 15, 2022 of this year, so that they can go to the same
branch for a new trial. Width to return. In this way, according to
the law, with the acceptance of the request for new trial and violation
of the verdict, the case was referred to management and I should have
immediately released on bail; While we have seen that he
takes less than thirty days from the time of arrest to hanging
the innocent youth of our country, it took more than a hundred days to
transfer my file to the agency with the intervention of security
According to the clarity of the law in case of violation of the
sentence to the Supreme Court, the judge of the same chamber was
forced to release me by issuing a bail order as soon as the case was
referred to this branch, however, by issuing a heavy bail order, by
practical after months of detention Legally, I was still in prison
with repeated and daily apologies by the security agencies.
What is certain is that the behavior of the bully and the extra-legal
security institution and the blind rendering of justice
authorities show once again the implementation of selective measures and
laws of good taste.
It is only a pretext for repression. Even though I knew the
judicial system and security institutions have no will to
enforce the law (which they insist on), but out of respect for my
lawyers and friends, I went through every legal avenue to get my
LAW; Today, like many people trapped in Iran, I have no choice but
to protest against these inhumane behaviors with my dear
possession, that is, my life.
Therefore, I firmly declare that, in protest against the extra-legal
and the inhuman behavior of the judicial and security apparatus and that
including hostage-taking, I have been on a hunger strike since
morning of 12 Bahman, and I will refuse to eat and drink
food and medicine until the time of my release. I will stay in this
state until maybe my lifeless body is released from prison.
With love for Iran and the people of my land, Jafar Panahi.