Iran sentences filmmaker for ‘insulting sanctities’

An Iranian appeals court sentenced filmmaker Keywan Karimi to one year in prison for "insulting sanctities" on Jan. 22, reducing his initial sentence of six years. The sentence resulted from Karimi's film focusing on political graffiti in Iran since the 1979 Revolution. Iran has recently cracked down on freedom of expression, harshly punishing journalists and artists. Citizens have been forced to flee the country in order to avoid unjust prison sentences. In June, one artist was sentenced to nearly 13 years for depicting Iranian parliament members as animals to criticize a draft law. Karimi plans to remain in the country and serve his sentence.

The human rights conditions for journalists, artists and activists in Iran have continued to be an matter of concern for the UN and worldwide. The Iranian Revolutionary Court in October convicted Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, approximately two months after the end of his trial. Rezaian was accused of espionage for allegedly collecting confidential information, handing it to hostile governments and acting against national security. He was freed in January as a condition of the Iran nuclear deal. The UN is urging Iran to to cease arresting, prosecuting and harassing individuals and to protect freedom of expression.

From Jurist, Feb. 22. Used with permission.

  1. Iranian metal band facing execution?

    Members of an Iranian metal band called Confess have been arrested and may face execution, according to reports. Trev McKendry of Metal Nation Radio posted a message on the Metal Nation News website from a friend of the band saying that two band members are facing charges including blasphemy and "playing heavy metal, owning an independent record label and for communicating with foreign radio stations." (SMH, Feb. 22)

    As the recently departed Umberto Eco said of Salman Rushdie, "A death sentence is a rather harsh review."