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European Film Academy, Festivals Join Calls to Release Imprisoned Iranian Actress Taraneh Alidoosti

Several of Europe’s major film organizations, including the European Film Academy, the German Film Academy, the International Coalition of Filmmakers at Risk, and the Berlin and Rotterdam film festivals issued a joint statement on Wednesday protesting the arrest of Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti and called for her immediate release.

The seller star, one of the most famous faces in Iranian cinema, was arrested on Saturday, December 17, after posting messages on social media expressing his solidarity with the anti-government protests that have rocked Iran since September.

“The imprisonment of Taraneh, one of Iran’s most famous artists, sends a clear signal to celebrities. [that the Iranian regime] it will not tolerate any challenge to its rapidly crumbling authority,” EFA President Mike Downey said in the statement. “We call on the Iranian authorities to end the arbitrary detentions. The Iranian people are denied fundamental freedoms, including expression and peaceful assembly.”

In addition to leading figures in the film industry (well-known Iranian directors Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof have also been jailed for criticizing the Tehran regime), Downey noted that “lawyers, cultural figures, journalists and activists” have also been targeted.

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The International Coalition of Filmmakers at Risk and its founding institutions expressed their “full and sincere solidarity with all those in Iran who stand up for their basic human rights and freedom of expression, and call on the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Taraneh.” . Alidoosti and his colleagues.

Two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, who has directed Alidoosti in four feature films, recently called for his release in a social media post. “If you show such support [for protesters] is a crime,” Farhadi wrote, “so tens of millions of people on this earth are criminals.”

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