TEHERAN, Iran — Iran has sentenced two prominent opposition filmmakers to six years in jail each on vague charges of working against the ruling system, their lawyers said Monday.
One of the two, internationally renowned filmmaker and opposition supporter Jafar Panahi, has won awards at the Chicago, Cannes and Berlin film festivals. Several of his films have been banned in Iran. He has also been banned from shooting films or scriptwriting for 20 years and was barred from leaving the country for the same period, his lawyer Farideh Qeirat said.
"Panahi has been sentenced to six years in jail on charges of conspiring against the (ruling) system and is denied his professional rights including shooting films and scriptwriting," the semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Qeirat as saying. "He has also been barred from leaving the country for 20 years and from doing any interviews with domestic or foreign media during this period," she added. Qeirat said she will appeal the unusually heavy sentence.
Mohammad Rasulov, another opposition filmmaker, received a six-year jail term, his lawyer Iman Mirzazadeh said. Mirzazadeh said he will also appeal the sentence.