How was the dangerous escape of Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof who was sentenced to eight years in prison and lashings

How was the dangerous escape of Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof who was sentenced to eight years in prison and lashings
How was the dangerous escape of Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof who was sentenced to eight years in prison and lashings

Mohammad Rasoulof (REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File)

Film director Mohammad Rasoulof took a walkexhausting and extremely dangerous” across a mountainous border area to avoid being imprisoned in Iran for “national security” charges, the filmmaker himself told the British newspaper Guardian.

Rasoulof said last Monday that he fled Iran after a court sentenced him to eight years in prisonof which five had to be fulfilled for his new film“The seed of the sacred fig” (“The seed of the sacred fig”).

The prominent Iranian filmmaker, often targeted by the country’s authorities, said in an interview published this Friday in the aforementioned media that had found refuge in Germany and He was hoping to attend the premiere of his film in Cannes.

The film tells the story of a judge’s struggles amid political unrest in Tehran.

Rasoulof told the British newspaper that “he had no choice“He has to leave, although he hopes to return home”coming soon”.

My mission is to be able to convey the narratives of what is happening in Iran and the situation we are trapped in as Iranians.”said Rasoulof; while he highlighted: “This is something I can’t do in prison.. “I have in mind the idea of ​​returning soon, but I think that is the case for all Iranians who have left the country.”

Mohammad Rasoulof, winner of the Golden Bear for best film for
Mohammad Rasoulof, winner of the Golden Bear for best film for “There Is No Evil,” speaks via video call while his daughter Baran Rasoulof holds a mobile phone, during a press conference following the 70th Festival awards ceremony International Film Festival Berlinale in Berlin in 2020 (REUTERS/Annegret Hilse)

Rasoulof He has already served two sentences in Iranian prisons for previous films and had his passport revoked in 2017.

Having decided to leave, he stated that he cut off all communications through mobile phones and computers; and He headed on foot along a secret route to a border crossing. “It was a hike of several hours, exhausting and extremely dangerous, that I had to do with a guide”, he detailed.

After staying in a safe house, he contacted German authorities, who provided him with documents allowing him to travel to Europe.

The director was sentenced to eight years in prison, lashings and confiscation of his property for the crime of “collusion with the intention of committing crimes against the security of the country”.

“About a month ago, my lawyers informed me that my sentence of eight years in prison had been confirmed in the appeal court and would be implemented shortly. Since the news of my new film would be revealed very soon, I knew that, without a doubt, “To these eight years a new sentence would be added”he wrote in a text that he released on Monday.

That forced him to choose “between prison or leaving Iran” and “with great regret“, he assured, chose exile.

Baran Rasoulof, daughter of Mohammad Rasoulof, receiving the Golden Bear that her father won in Berlin in 2020 (REUTERS/Annegret Hilse)
Baran Rasoulof, daughter of Mohammad Rasoulof, receiving the Golden Bear that her father won in Berlin in 2020 (REUTERS/Annegret Hilse)

On his Instagram account, the filmmaker reported that, after his passport was taken away in 2017, Last year he tried to get it back and they told him he has no right to have it.. “If geographical Iran suffers under the boots of its religious tyranny, cultural Iran is alive in common minds of millions of Iranians who were forced to leave Iran due to its brutality and cruelty; and no power can impose its will on him,” he added.

He assured that from now on it is “resident of cultural Iran”a land “without borders built by millions of Iranians with ancient history and culture in every corner of the world.”

Furthermore, in the statement he showed his opposition “to the recent unjust sentence against me that forces me to go into exile” and that it is one of many cruel decisions of the Iranian judicial system.

“It’s hard to believe, but right now, as I write this, the young rapper Toomaj Salehi He is in prison and has been sentenced to death”, lamented Rasoulof, who noted that the Iranian regime targets “the lives of civil rights activists” and carries out death sentences.

(With information from AFP and EFE)

 
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