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article imagePolice raid filmmaker Jafar Panahi's home, threaten his family

By Johnny Simpson     May 17, 2010 in World
Three days ago, Jafar Panahi was punished with two more months in Evin prison for relaying a thank you message to his Cannes supporters. On Sunday, his home in Tehran was raided and his family threatened with arrest if they spoke to the media about him.
According to a brand new post on the Jafar Panahi Facebook page, between 9:00 AM and noon yesterday in Tehran, eight regime security officers raided the home of Jafar Panahi, seized personal belongings, and then threatened Jafar's family members with arrest if they spoke to the media about his case.
This news follows hot on the heels of another report from the Jafar Panahi Facebook page (which has been a highly reliable source on Mr. Panahi as confirmed by prominent Green websites in Iran) that the regime extended Mr. Panahi's confinement in Evin prison by two months for the crime of conveying a thank you message to Cannes. Mr. Panahi has yet to be officially charged with any crimes, though the regime has accused him of planning to make a subversive anti-regime film. Mr. Panahi, his family and friends strongly deny the accusation.
International calls for Mr. Panahi's release have been steadily rising as of late. On April 30, some of America's most famous filmmakers issued a statement in New York City calling for his release. The Cannes Film Festival now in progress reserved an empty jury chair for Mr. Panahi weeks ago. Famous American director and Cannes jury chair Tim Burton called for Mr. Panahi's release on the first day of Cannes on May 12, and French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand read a public statement calling for Mr. Panahi's release. You can read a lot more on Mr. Panahi's story in my earlier DJ post, "The nightmare story of Jafar Panahi."
UPDATE: This account was also confirmed by Mousavi's official website Kaleme.
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