Iran: Passport of Swedish-Iranian actress confiscated by police

The Iranian actress Maryam Moghaddam, who lives in Sweden and who participated in the controversial film ‘Closed Curtain’, remains stuck in Iran after she received a travel ban and her passport was confiscated by Iranian police.

Maryam Moghaddam. Photo: courtesy of

Maryam Moghaddam traveled from Sweden to Iran to visit her mother in a family matter in early March 2013, when her passport was confiscated, allegedly because she had participated in director Jafar Panahis’ movie ‘Closed Curtain’ which was widely reported at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2013.

Jafar Panahi has been under house arrest and banned from making films for 20 years in Iran, but the regime-critical movie was filmed in secret, and – just as the title suggests – behind closed curtains.

Waiting part of the sentence
The Swedish public service radio’s Kulturnytt got hold of her as she was sitting on the steps of the court in Tehran.
“To let me wait is part of the sentence – it is a little penalty in itself,” Maryam Moghaddam explained.

More than two weeks have passed without either trial or vengeance. On 13 March 2013, Maryam Moghaddam was called to the court, located inside Evin prison, for “political offence” in Iran. After a long wait, she was told that the trial was postponed.

Radio interview
Maryam Moghaddam lives in Gothenburg where she’s been working with Backa Theatre and Gothenburg City Theatre, among others.

What does your life look like now?, asked SR’s Isa Andersson.
“I try to stay calm. At first I was very stressed and anxious. But now I sit at home and write a script.”

Is it based on this incident?
“Not directly, though of course it has had a little impact, replied Maryam Moghaddam.”

The interview was conducted in Swedish language. You can listen to an audio file on the webpage of Kulturnytt:

SR Kulturnytt – 14 March 2013:
Utdragen rättsprocess för svensk-iransk skådespelare
Skådespelaren Maryam Moghaddam, bosatt i Göteborg och tidigare verksam vid Backateatern och Göteborgs Stadsteater, är fortsatt fast i Iran. Kulturnytt fick tag i henne på trappan till domstolen i Teheran.

Related – 27 February 2013:
Iran complains: Berlin awards movie made in defiance of 20-year ban
Iranian authorities logged a protest with the Berlin International Film Festival for giving its Best Screenplay Award Silver Bear to Iranian film director Jafar Panahi and co-director Kamboziya Partovi for their film ‘Closed Curtain’, according to a report from one of the country’s leading news agencies.

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