11 May 2010
Release Iranian filmmakers

Iranian filmmaker Ja’far Panahi is being denied the chance to appear at the Cannes Film Festival after being detained by the Iranian authorities.

The award-winning director was arrested on 1 March after plainclothes police broke into his house and he has since been held in Tehran's Evin Prison.

The Iranian authorities have said he is being held for making an anti-government film about the disputed presidential election of 2009.

Another Iranian filmmaker, Mohammad Ali Shirzadi, has been detained in the same prison since 4 January, apparently for filming an interview between a human rights defender and a prominent dissenting cleric, Ayatollah Montazeri.

Amnesty International considers both men to be prisoners of conscience. It has urged Tehran's Head of Judiciary to release them both immediately and unconditionally.

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