The renowned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi was sentenced to six years in prison and prohibited from writing or directing movies for the next 20 years. Panahi was first arrested in July 2009 for participating in a memorial near the grave of Neda Sultan for those killed in protests of the disputed presidential election.
Panahi was released on bail seven months ago awaiting his court hearing. His lawyer is expected to appeal today’s barbaric sentence.
Panahi is best known for his films The White Balloon and The Circle, which won the Camera d'Or at Cannes and the Golden Lion at Venice, respectively. Among his other famous films is Offside, which tells the story of female soccer fans who disguise their gender to watch a match in Tehran.