A renowned Iranian filmmaker has said that the offices and homes of several filmmakers and other industry professionals were raided and some of them arrested in recent days.
Mohammad Rasoulof made the comments on Instagram late on May 14, posting a statement signed by dozens of movie industry professionals.
The statement also claimed that security forces confiscated film production equipment during the raids. It condemned the actions and called them 'illegal.'
In a separate Instagram post, Rasoulof identified two of the detained filmmakers as Firouzeh Khosravani and Mina Keshavarz. Rasoulof himself was not targeted in the recent raids.
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There were no immediate comments from the Iranian authorities on the raids, and no additional details were immediately available.
Rasoulof won the Berlin Film Festival's top prize in 2020 for his film There Is No Evil. The film tells four stories loosely connected to the themes of the death penalty in the Islamic republic and personal freedoms under oppression.
Rasoulof was sentenced to a year in prison shortly after receiving the award, but his lawyer appealed the sentence. He has been banned from making films and traveling abroad.
Iran occasionally arrest activists in cultural fields over alleged security violations.
Iran's conservative authorities have long viewed many cultural activities as part of a 'soft war' by the West against Iran and an attempt to tarnish the country's Islamic beliefs.
Based on reporting by AP
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Washington DC 20036