Ace Iranian director Jafar Panahi out on bail
The director was arrested last July from Tehran in the wake of the country's conservative government crackdown
Ace filmmaker Jafar Panahi, who was incarcerated in Tehran's Evin prison, has been released on bail. Panahi's wife Tahereh Saeidi announced it in an Instagram post.
The case is up for review in March. The director was released two days after announcing that he was going on a hunger strike to protest still being in prison even after Iran's Supreme Court, in October, had overturned a six-year sentence issued against him in 2010 for "propaganda against the system."
In fact, that sentence had become obsolete due to the country's 10-year statute of limitations. But Panahi's team argue that Iranian security services were forcing the judiciary to keep the filmmaker behind bars.
"Although I am happy about Panahi's release, it must be said that it should have taken place three months ago," the director's lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, said in a statement, which has been accessed by Variety.
He noted that Panahi should have been released on bail on October 18 last year, the day his sentence was overturned.
Panahi is known globally for award-winning works such as The Circle, Offside, This is Not a Film, Taxi, and most recently, No Bears, which won the Special Jury Prize at the 2022 Venice International Film Festival.
The director was arrested last July from Tehran in the wake of the country's conservative government crackdown.