France calls on Iran to release filmmaker

1st August 2009, Comments 0 comments

France on Friday called on Iran to allow peaceful protests, a day after police clashed with demonstrators in Tehran, and to release filmmaker Jafar Panahi and others arrested this week.

Paris - France on Friday called on Iran to allow peaceful protests, a day after police clashed with demonstrators in Tehran, and to release filmmaker Jafar Panahi and others arrested this week.

"We call on Iranian authorities to respect the fundamental right to hold peaceful protests," said foreign ministry spokesman Frederic Desagneaux.

"This is a universal value and we hope that the people arrested during the demonstrations, in particular filmmaker Jafar Panahi, will be released."

Thousands mourning the slain protesters clashed with riot police at the Behesht-e Zahra cemetery and in central Tehran on Thursday, witnesses said.

A source close to Panahi's family said the award-winning film director was arrested at the cemetery where mourners had gathered near the grave of Neda Agha-Soltan, a young woman whose death was caught on video and distributed on the Internet.

AFP / Expatica

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