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Iranian Filmmakers Stand Up Against Post-Election Injustices; "Ten" Actor Arrested

by Anthony Kaufman
June 23, 2009 8:37 AM
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Iranian filmmakers -- both in Iran and exiled -- have taken an outspoken and central role in the protests against the reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Now they may be facing some pushback. After Marjane Satrapi and Mohsen Makhmalbaf presented a document that claimed Ahmadinejad received only 12% of the vote, not 65%, and today in Rome, Mohsen Makhmalbaf reiterated his accusations, calling the election a coup d'etat, news comes this afternoon that 17-year-old Amin Maher, an actor who appeared in Abbas Kiarostami's "Ten" -- and the son of painter and filmmaker Mania Akbari, who also appears in "Ten" -- has been arrested in the recent police sweeps in the country.
Below, find excerpts from an email from Akbari that goes into some detail about her son's arrest:

"I had no idea where they had taken my son to, therefore I stared looking in every ambulance, every police station and every hospital in town. I came face to face with other parents looking for
their children as well. Mothers screaming and calling the names of their sons and daughters. Fathers weeping silently. Terrified kids in police stations awaiting their faith...it was a total nightmare."

"It was early Wednesday morning when I finally found my son at the Pasdaran's police station. The reasons for his arrest were that he was wearing a green band to show his support for Mr. Moussavi and also that he had been identified as an active participant during the presidential campaign. Finally on Wednesday he was released with the intervention of some friends, artists and some related police authorities."

"Amin had been subjected to serious beatings and emotional disturbance. I felt ashamed of seeing him in his condition. I had created a false illusion for him regarding the country he had been born in, about prevailing humanism and democratic atmosphere. I had always encouraged him to consider going to top universities in Iran, instead of opting for studying abroad."

"I remember talking to the press a while ago, mentioning humanity, the love for people, patriotism and the positive way of thinking towards a democratic society. Unfortunately now I have to express my disagreement with the ever-increasing violence in our society today. Violence is not the answer and freedom will only be attained through respecting the democratic rights of each and every human being."

"Today I would like to take this opportunity to ask my fellow artists, friends and family to participate in promoting a peaceful approach and strongly condemn any kind of violence.
Therefore I hope to be able to live in my country Iran, where I will never have to see another club nor another whip."

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