Filmmaker: Officials Arrest Iranian Film Industry Workers


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An award-winning Iranian filmmaker says authorities have raided the offices and homes of several filmmakers and other industry professionals and arrested some of them.

In a statement signed by dozens of film industry experts on his Instagram account late Saturday, Mohammad Rasulov said security forces had arrested some of the raids carried out in recent days and confiscated film-making equipment. The statement condemned the practice and called it “illegal.”

In a separate Instagram post, Rasoulof identified two filmmakers detained as Firouzeh Khosravani and Mina Keshavarz. In a recent raid, Rasulov was not targeted.

Iranian media and authorities did not comment on the raid, and further details were not immediately available. Iranian authorities sometimes arrest cultural activists for alleged security breaches.

Rasulov took first place with the film ‘No Evil’, which won the Best Prize at the 2020 Berlin Film Festival. It tells four stories loosely connected to the theme of individual freedom under the death penalty and tyranny in Iran.

Shortly after receiving the award, he was sentenced to one year in prison, but his lawyer appealed the sentence. He was banned from making films and traveling abroad.

Iran’s conservative authorities are highly religious and control all means of power in Iran. They have long regarded many cultural activities as part of the West’s “soft war” against the Islamic Republic. They say that westernization is trying to undermine the Islamic faith in the country.

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