Iran: Call for the release of imprisoned writer and film producer
Writer and film producer Mostafa Azizi was arrested on 1 February 2015 and convicted of national security-related offences by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran and sentenced to eight years in prison. PEN International is calling for his immediate and unconditional release.
52-year-old Iranian writer and film producer Mostafa Azizi is feared to have been imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to free expression. Though no further details have been offered by Iranian authorities, the charges apparently stem from Azizi’s posting on Facebook and other social media sites.
His trial began on 1 June 2015 at Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. One week later, on 8 June 2015, Azizi was sentenced to a total of eight years in prison: five years for “gathering and colluding against national security”; two years in prison for “insulting the Supreme Leader”; and one year in prison for “acting against national security by spreading propaganda against the system in cyberspace.” He is reported to have appealed the court’s decision and has requested release on bail pending his appeal.
Mostafa Azizi is the author of a book of short stories entitled, ‘My Name is Raymond Carver’, and is a well-known screen-writer and television producer, who has lived in Canada for the last four years. He returned to Iran in December 2014 to visit his father following news reports that the government would be lenient to those who chose to return to the country. However, according to family members, Azizi was arrested on 1 February 2015 after he received a summons,.
He is the former chair of the Iranian chapter of the International Animated Film Festival.
» TAKE ACTION: Share on FaceBook, Twitter and other social media, and send appeals immediately to the leaders of Iran. Read more on www.pen-international.org
UPDATE: Azizi was given amnesty and released on 9 April 2016 with ten months left of his prison sentence, reported Journalism is not a Crime on 9 April 2016.
» Journalism is not a Crime – 9 April 2016:
TV producer Mostafa Azizi released
» The Guardian – 31 March 2015:
Iran arrests Canadian resident for insulting supreme leader
» Mostafa Azizi’s home page: mostafazizi.net
» Wikipedia – the open encyclopedia: