Panahi Petition

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In case you missed the petition to free jailed Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, the petition is here on Susan Norget's web site.

Here's the low-down, direct from the petition:


Jafar Panahi, the internationally acclaimed Iranian director of such award-winning films as The White Balloon, The Circle, Crimson Gold and Offside, was arrested at his home on March 1st in a raid by plain-clothed security forces. He has been held since then in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

A recent letter from Mr. Panahi’s wife expressed her deep concerns about her husband's heart condition, and about his having been moved to a smaller cell. Mr. Panahi’s films have been banned from screening in Iran for the past ten years and he has effectively been kept from working for the past four years. Last October, his passport was confiscated and he was banned from leaving the country. Upon his arrest, Islamic Republic officials initially charged Mr. Panahi with “unspecified crimes.” They have since reversed themselves, and the charges are now specifically related to his work as a filmmaker.

We (the undersigned) stand in solidarity with a fellow filmmaker, condemn this detention, and strongly urge the Iranian government to release Mr. Panahi immediately.

Iran’s contributions to international cinema have been rightfully heralded, and encouraged those of us outside the country to respect and cherish its people and their stories. Like artists everywhere, Iran’s filmmakers should be celebrated, not censored, repressed, and imprisoned.

Signed:

Paul Thomas Anderson

Joel & Ethan Coen

Francis Ford Coppola

Jonathan Demme

Robert De Niro

Curtis Hanson

Jim Jarmusch

Ang Lee

Richard Linklater

Terrence Malick

Michael Moore

Robert Redford

Martin Scorsese

James Schamus

Paul Schrader

Steven Soderbergh

Steven Spielberg

Oliver Stone

Frederick Wiseman  

Petition Organizing Committee: Jamsheed Akrami, Godfrey Cheshire, Jem Cohen, Kent Jones, Anthony Kaufman

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