By Staff Writer, Iran Probe
Saturday, 14 May 2016
Over 30 major filmmaking companies in Europe called on Iran to revoke a court ruling convicting director Keivan Karimi to 223 lashes.
Karimi, 30, was convicted by a revolution court in December of 2014 on charges of “insulting the sanctities” in the film “Writing in the City.”
AFP reported these companies wrote an open letter to the Iranian government saying: “It is completely unacceptable that Karimi must be enlisted amongst artists whose rights are denied simply for his global and critical view of art.”
Karimi was arrested in the spring of 2013 and finally convicted in October 2015 to six years behind bars and 223 lashes.
The charges raised against him included his association with the film “Writing in the City” regarding wall-writing and political/social graffiti in Iran following the 1979 revolution.
Nearly three months ago his six-year jail sentence was decreased to one year. However, the lashing verdict remained as initially ruled.
The film, “Writing in the City,” has been shown in a number of film festivals in France, Spain and Switzerland.
“The only thing I did was take footage of writings on the city walls… I am not a political activist. I have been placed behind bars not because of my opposition to this regime, but because of my filmmaking,” Mr. Karimi said to AFP.