Friday, June 14, 2024

Iranian actress sentenced to lashes released


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Melbourne: Iranian actress Marzieh Vafemehr who was sentenced to 90 lashes and further imprisonment for acting in a South Australian film has been released, according to top human rights watchdog Amnesty International.

“We are extremely pleased to hear that Marzieh has been released without being subjected to the cruel and degrading punishment of flogging, but the crackdown on filmmakers continues in Iran,” Amnesty’s campaign manager Hannah Harborow was quoted as saying in the local media.

“Marzieh seems to have been released after an appeal court reduced her imprisonment to three months and overturned the flogging sentence on Monday night,” Harborow said.

She was arrested in June after black market copies of the film -‘My Tehran For Sale’ began circulating in Tehran.

In 2008, Vafamehr and South Australian producers Croser and Julie Ryan filmed the movie in Tehran and brought the footage back to Adelaide for post production.

Vafamehr plays the character of a young actress in Tehran whose theatre work is banned by the authorities.

She is then forced to lead a secret life in order to express herself artistically while at the same time trying to migrate to Australia.

The 2009 film was highly controversial in Iran only because it showed footage of uninhibited modernised Iranians at Western-style rave parties.

The film showed her in some scenes without an Islamic hijab which covers the hair and neck.

Vafamehr’s family had requested a Western media blackout of the case since her arrest but the Iranian opposition website went public with news of the actress’s harsh punishment earlier this month. (PTI)


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