Noted filmmaker Jafar Panahi has gone on a hunger strike for being held in Tehran's Evin prison, even though Iran's Supreme Court has overturned the conviction leading to the director's detention, reported Variety.
Panahi issued a statement from prison saying that to protest against the "illegal and inhumane" treatment by the Islamic Republic's judiciary and security forces and their "hostage-taking", he will stop eating, drinking, and taking his medications until "maybe my lifeless body would be released from this prison."
The statement announcing Panahi's decision to go on a hunger strike was posted by Panahi's wife Tahereh Saeedi and son Panah Panahi on their Instagram accounts., reported Variety.
The acclaimed director was arrested last July in Tehran in the wake of a crackdown by the conservative government in the country. Panahi was visiting the Tehran's prosecutor's office to follow up on the situation of fellow dissident filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulov, who had been imprisoned a few days earlier after signing an appeal against alleged police violence.
Since his arrest, Panahi's lawyers in October managed to successfully overturn the six-year sentence issued against the director in 2010 for "propaganda against the system," in Iran's highest court.
According to Panahi's lawyer Saleh Nikhbakht, the sentence has become obsolete due to the country's 10-year statute of limitations and Panahi's case has been sent to an Iranian court of appeals. But the director's wife and lawyers claimed that Iranian security services were forcing the judiciary to keep him behind bars.
Panahi is known for his award-winning films 'The Circle,' 'Offside,' 'This is Not a Film,' 'Taxi,' and most recently, 'No Bears,' which took home the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival last year.
On January 4, Iranian authorities released Taraneh Alidoosti, the star of Asghar Farhadi's Oscar-winning film 'The Salesman', almost three weeks after she was jailed for criticising a crackdown on anti-government protests. (ANI)