Filmmaker Keyvan Karimi Released from Prison
On April 19, prominent Iranian filmmaker Keyvan Karimi was released from Evin Prison. Karimi was sentenced in October 2015 to six years in prison and 223 lashes in connection with his film about political graffiti in Tehran. After an international outcry, however, in February 2016 the appeals court reduced his sentence to one year in prison. He started serving his sentence in December 2016, and was eligible for parole at the time of his release.
President Rouhani to the Press: We Promote Free Speech and Culture
President Hassan Rouhani defended his administration’s policies and responded to criticisms about the recent crackdown on free expression in Iran during a press conference on April 10.
Rouhani answered questions about the recent crackdown on free speech, including the arrest in March of as many as 12 administrators for channels on the Telegram messaging service. Journalists Morad Saghafi and Hengameh Shahidi were also arrested in March, and Ehsan Mazandarani, one of the media workers accused of being part of an “infiltration network,” was re-arrested after only weeks of freedom.