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Rudaw

Culture & Art

Kurdish filmmaker begins one-year prison sentence in Iran

By Rudaw 24/11/2016
An empty chair at a screening of his film ‘Drum’ at the Duhok International Film Festival symbolically took the place of Keywan Karimi, banned from travelling by Iranian authorities. Photo: Rudaw video
An empty chair at a screening of his film ‘Drum’ at the Duhok International Film Festival symbolically took the place of Keywan Karimi, banned from travelling by Iranian authorities. Photo: Rudaw video
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdish filmmaker Keywan Karimi began serving a one-year sentence in Tehran’s Evin prison on Wednesday. 

Karimi was also sentenced to receive 223 lashes on charges of insulting Islam in his documentary film ‘The Writing on the Walls.’

The judge presiding over the case, Muhammad Moghise, said Karimi had insulted sacred values and promoted illegitimate relations and contact through kissing. 

In a telephone conversation with Rudaw in the summer, Karimi, 30, a native of the Kurdish city of Baneh, rejected the accusations and decried his sentencing.

“I’ve made a film about the government, social conditions, graffiti on the walls and the working class,” he said. “It is for people to judge my films. I don’t know why I should be punished like this.”

The commencement of his sentence was confirmed in an announcement from the production company Les Films de l’Apres-Midi.

Karimi’s film “Drum” was screened at this summer’s Duhok International Film Festival. He was not able to attend the screening as Iranian authorities had banned him from leaving the country. 

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Hersh | 24/11/2016
Fascist in Turkey jail Kurdish mayors and MP's and fanatics in Iran jail Kurdish artists, we cannot take much more of this, we need a serious independence movement for all of Kurdistan
Non kurd | 24/11/2016
Supreme terrorist Khamenei must be exterminated like a roach. Mag bar khamenei haramzadeh. Kurdistan zendebad.
vatan seven | 25/11/2016
Iran still need 50 years before they understand human right!!!!
Wokeluk | 25/11/2016
@Hersh Unlike other countries, this is not an issue against Kurds, but against artists. Don't turn it into an ethnic problem when it isnt.
Hersh | 25/11/2016
@Wokeluk, Go on any human right agency site and read the many detailed reports about the systematic oppression of Kurds and other minoraties in Iran. The regime is oppressive yes but the way they oppress Persians vs the way the oppress Kurds(and other minoraties) is quite different, for instance Persians(and everyone else) have to follow a certain dresscode in public while Kurds are literally barred from postions of power, there are many military and government postions Kurds can't hold because they are Kurds! Kurdish culture/history/language is constantly under attack. There's also a huge difference in how the wealth is distributed in Iran, the Persian regions get the lion share of the budget and almost all the investments are done there while the non-Persian regions are left with scraps.
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