Opposition group: Iran sentences actress for film critical of government

Iranian women inmates sit at their cell in Evin jail, north of Tehran, 13 June 2006.

Story highlights

  • The film producers express "deep shock and sadness"
  • Actress Marzieh Vafamehr stars in the film, "My Tehran, For Sale"
  • There are no specifics about what Vafamehr was convicted of or when she was sentenced
  • Opposition group says actress is sentenced to a year in jail and 90 lashes
An Iranian actress has been sentenced to a year in jail and 90 lashes for appearing in a film critical of the country's government, an opposition website said.
Actress Marzieh Vafamehr stars in the recently released "My Tehran, For Sale," which challenges the limits imposed on artists in the Islamic republic, according to the website, Kaleme.
"As producers of the film ... we would like to express our deep shock and sadness at the sentence imposed by the Iranian government against actress Marzieh Vafamehr and we continue to offer our support to Marzieh and her family by respecting their wishes to let the case and the appeal follow the proper legal channels," said Kate Croser and Julie Ryan.
The movie features Vafamehr playing an actress who is banned from working in Iran and then tries to leave, the Kaleme website said.
The website did not offer specifics about what Vafamehr was convicted of or when she was sentenced.
In August, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said it had interviewed the actress's husband, Iranian filmmaker Nasser Taghvai.
"It is a bitter tale why our artists should end up in prison for their profession; this is so painful. An actor cannot say I would do this in a film, or I wouldn't do that in a film. (If they did,) nobody would give them work anymore," the rights group quoted Taghvai as saying on its website.
"This film has a producer and a director. If there is a problem, they should be accountable," he was quoted as saying. "Why should my wife be punished for them? These arrests have a bad reflection both inside and outside the country."