Jafar Panahi, a very talented Iranian filmmaker, among Armenian audience probably known for “The Circle” film /which criticized the treatment of women under Iran’s islamist regime/. So, Panahi was due to take his place on the Cannes jury this year. Instead, he is incarcerated in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, after he was arrested for unspecified crimes. The festival has left an empty chair on the jury panel.
A few days ago Jafar Panahi has begun a hunger strike to protest at his imprisonment in Iran, BBC reports. The Iranian authorities have clamped down on dissenting voices since protests flared over the disputed elections last June. Mr Panahi’s family were released shortly after their arrest, but he was taken to Evin prison in Tehran. His wife, Tahereh Saeidi, told the opposition Rahesabz website the director had informed her by phone that he had stopped eating and drinking until he was allowed to see his family and a lawyer. Continue reading