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Federal Minister Westerwelle calls for the release of Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi

03.03.2010 - Press release

Commenting on the arrest of the prominent Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi in Tehran, Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued the following statement in Geneva today (3 March):

The German Government condemns the detention of Jafar Panahi.Mr Panahi is a dedicated filmmaker whose artistic work has won praise around the world.

I appeal to the Iranian leadership in Tehran to do everything it can to ensure Mr Panahi is released without delay. The Iranian authorities are called upon to honour the international commitments they themselves have made to protect citizens’ civil and political rights.”

Yesterday (2 March) official sources in Tehran confirmed that the filmmaker Jafar Panahi had been arrested at his home in Tehran on the evening of 1 March. Earlier this year he had been denied an exit visa to attend the 2010 Berlinale. In 2006 he received the film festival’s Silver Bear award for his film “Offside”.

Iran has signed and ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

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