Thursday, 30 July 2009

AFP: Iran 'arrests prominent film director' at cemetery

TEHRAN — Prominent Iranian film director Jafar Panahi was arrested at a cemetery where mourners gathered on Thursday to commemorate slain election protesters, a source close to the family said.

"Panahi, his wife Tahereh Saeedi and daughter Solmaz were arrested today at Behesht-e Zahra," the source who declined to be named told AFP.

The award-winning director of "Offside" and "The Circle", Panahi is a vocal critic of Iran hardliners and his movies have been banned for a decade from domestic cinemas despite their international success.

Several other mourners were also arrested by Iranian riot police who beat the crowds gathered to commemorate protesters killed in post-election violence last month, witnesses said.

Mourners were marking the 40th day since the death of Neda Agha-Soltan, a young woman who came to symbolise the protest movement against the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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