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Iranian Actress sentenced to 90 lashes for role in Australian film

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Iranian Actress sentenced to 90 lashes for role in Australian film | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

– World news selected by Phuket Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Sydney Morning Herald
An Iranian actress has been sentenced to one year in prison and 90 lashes for her role in an Australian film, media reports said on Tuesday, days after a student activist was lashed 74 times for insulting the country’s president.

Marzieh Vafamehr was sentenced for appearing in “My Tehran For Sale” which criticizes Iran’s hard-line policies. It tells the story of a young actress whose stage work is banned by authorities.

Vafamehr, who has been in jail since July, often appears with a shaved head and no headscarf in the film, which also explores cultural oppression in Iran. Films producers Julie Ryan and Kate Croser said that they are not aware of the specifics of the charges but believe they relate to scenes in which Vafamehr appears without wearing a hijab, which covers the head.

The filmmakers and investors behind the film said they were “deeply shocked and appalled” by her sentence. “The producers would like to emphasize that Marzieh’s involvement in the film was limited to her role as an actress and she was not in any other way involved in the behind-the-scenes film-making,” they said, as quoted by the newspaper.

The Australian government condemned the lashing sentence and urged Iran to protect the rights of all people. Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd’s office said the Australian government condemned the use of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and was “deeply concerned” by the reports.

On Sunday, an Iranian student activist named Peyman Aref was lashed 74 times for insulting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before being released from Tehran’s Evin prison. Aref had written Ahmadinejad during his 2009 election campaign and, as a sign of protest, refused to begin his letter with the formal greeting “Salam”.

The lashing incident came only a few weeks after Somayeh Tohidlou, a female Iranian blogger and campaigner for former presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, was sentenced to a “symbolic” lashing for the same crime.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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