Iran: Mohammad Rasoulof sentenced to 5 years in prison

Iran: Mohammad Rasoulof sentenced to 5 years in prison
Iran: Mohammad Rasoulof sentenced to 5 years in prison

Mohammad Rasoulof sentenced to 5 years in prison

Published today at 9:09 p.m.

Famous Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof, whose latest film will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival, was sentenced to five years in prison by an Iranian court, his lawyer announced on Wednesday.

The director, awarded several times at international festivals, was also sentenced to lashes, a fine and the confiscation of his property, said Mr. Babak Paknia in messages posted on X. According to his posts, the director would have been convicted for his films and documentaries which would constitute a crime against the security of the country according to the court’s assessment.

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This judgment was not announced by official Iranian media.

His lawyer indicated that the court had imposed a prison sentence of eight years, including five years applicable, and that this judgment had been confirmed on appeal on an unspecified date.

Building collapse in 2022

Mohammad Rasoulof, 52, was arrested in July 2022 for encouraging demonstrations sparked after the collapse of a building that killed more than 40 people in May in southwest Iran.

After this tragedy, a group of Iranian filmmakers led by Mohammad Rasoulof published an open letter calling on the security forces “to lay down their arms” in the face of national indignation against “corruption” and “incompetence” of those responsible.

The 77th Cannes Film Festival, which begins on May 14 in the south of France, has added Mohammad Rasoulof’s new film, “The seed of the sacred fig,” to the selection.

This filmmaker was winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes in 2017 (“A Man of Integrity”), then the Golden Bear in Berlin in 2020 (“The Devil Does Not Exist”).

He was invited to Cannes in 2023 as a member of a jury, but was unable to make the trip due to a travel ban.


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