Currently imprisoned in Iran’s Evin prison after being arrested by the Tehran regime on July 11, the director of Bears Doesn’t Exist went on a hunger strike in protest.
Jafar Panahi he has been held in the Evin prison, north of Tehran, since July last year, when the Iranian regime arrested him after requesting information about the detention of his colleague, Mohammad Rasulof.
Just yesterday the director’s wife Tahere Saidivia Instagram stated that a week earlier she was informed of her husband’s imminent release, which never happened, and is arriving again today via Saidicomes a statement from Panahi announcing start of a hunger strike in protest against the injustice from which she suffers.
This is the text of Jafar Panahi’s open letter:
On July 20 of this year, in protest against the arrest of our two beloved colleagues, Mohammad Rasoulof and Mostafa Al-Ahmad, we, along with a group of filmmakers, gathered in front of Evin prison, and it was decided that some of us and the lawyers of other prisoners entered the Evin courthouse; we were talking peacefully with the competent authorities and the competent investigator when an officer arrived and took me to section 1 of the execution judge Evin. The young judge said to me without introducing himself: “We were looking for you in the sky, we found you here. You are under arrest!” Thus, I was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison to carry out an eleven-year sentence. According to the law under which I was arrested in 1988, after more than ten years of non-execution of the sentence, it is subject to the expiration of time and becomes unenforceable. Thus, this arrest looked more like banditry and hostage-taking than execution of a court sentence.
Despite the fact that my arrest was illegal, respected lawyers managed to break the 1990 sentence by reopening the proceedings in the Supreme Court, which is the highest court for legal cases, on October 15, 2022, in order to be able to apply in the same section for new trial. Thus, according to the law, with the acceptance of the motion for a review of the case and the violation of the sentence, the case was transferred to the department and I should have been immediately released on bail; while we have seen less than thirty days pass from the moment of arrest to the hanging of the innocent youth of our country, it took more than a hundred days for my case to be transferred to the department with the intervention of the security forces.
According to the law, in cases of violation of the decision in the Supreme Court, the judge of the same section was obliged to release me by issuing a warrant of bail, as soon as the case was transferred to that section, however, by issuing a warrant of bail. on high bail, in fact, after several months of legal detention, I was still in prison with apologies repeated every day by security personnel.
There is no doubt that the overbearing and misbehaving behavior of the security forces, as well as the unquestioning capitulation of the judiciary, once again demonstrate the selective and inappropriate application of the law.
It’s just a pretext for reprisals. Knowing that the judiciary and the security services are unwilling to enforce the law (which they insist on), out of respect for my lawyers and friends, I used all legal means to obtain my rights; Today, like so many people trapped in Iran, I have no choice but to protest this inhuman behavior with my most precious asset – my life.
Therefore, I firmly declare that in protest against the extra-legal and inhuman behavior of the judicial and security apparatus and against this particular hostage-taking, I go on a hunger strike from the morning of the 12th of Bahman and refuse to eat or drink any food and medicine until my release. I will remain in this state until, perhaps, my lifeless body is released from prison.
With love for Iran and the people of my land, Jafar Panahi.
Source: Coming Soon
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