Confirmed victory

Iranian actress Marzieh Vafamehr, wife of film director and screenwriter Nasser Taghvai, has been sentenced to one year in jail and 90 lashes for appearing in a movie critical of the Islamic republic’s hard-line policies.

The film is produced in collaboration with Australia and tells about a young female actress living in Tehran. The authorities ban her theatre work and, like all young people in Iran, she is forced to lead a secret life in order to express herself artistically. At an underground rave, she meets Iranian born Saman, now an Australian citizen, who offers her a way out of her country and the possibility of living without fear.

Vafamehr appears in the film without a hijab. The film has been harshly criticized in conservative circles.

The Fars news agency has previously said the movie had not been approved for screening in Iran and was being distributed in the country illegally.

Reality is worst than fiction: Vafamehr was arrested the first week of July 2011 in Tehran and was held in detention until 25 July 2011 when she was released on bail. On 10 October 2011she has been sentenced to one year in jail and 90 lashes.

We are turning to Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini to take a stand on this issue. Italy cannot remain silent about all the human rights violations in Iran -- Mr. Frattini should issue a formal protest to Iranian government and demand the release of Marzieh Vafamehr as soon as possible!


Please help stop this shame.

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L'attrice iraniana Marzieh Vafamehr, moglie del regista e sceneggiatore Nasser Taghvai, è stata condannata ad un anno di reclusione e 90 frustate per la sua partecipazione in un film di denuncia della politica estremamente repressiva della Repubblica Iraniana.

Il film è stato prodotto in collaborazione con l'Australia e parla di una giovane attrice che vive a Teheran. Le autorità contrastano duramente il suo lavoro teatrale e lei, come gran parte dei giovani iraniani, è costretta a vivere una doppia vita per poter esprimere sè stessa artisticamente. Ad un rave underground incontra Saman, nato in Iran ed ora cittadino australiano, che le offre la possibilità di scappare e di vivere una vita libera.

Marzieh Vafamehr compare nel film senza hijab. Il film è stato duramente criticato dal regime conservatore.

L'agenzia Fars news ha affermato che la visione del film non era stata approvata in Iran ed il film è stato distribuito illegalmente.

La realtà è peggiore della fantasia. Vafamehr è stata arrestata la prima settimana di luglio del 2011 a Teheran ed è stata tenuta in detenzione fino al 25 luglio, rilasciata su cauzione. Il 10 ottobre 2011 è stata condannata a un anno di reclusione e 90 frustate.

Ora ci stiamo rivolgendo al Ministro per gli Affari Esteri. L'Italia non può rimanere in silenzio di fronte a questa violazione dei diritti umani in Iran. Il Ministro Frattini deve intervenire in prima persona inviando una protesta formale al governo iraniano e richiedere il rilascio immediato di Marzieh Vafamehr!

Aiutateci a fermare questo scempio.

Letter to
Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights Mohammad Javad Larijani
Ministro degli Affari Esteri Franco Frattini
Ambasciatore d'Italia a Teheran Alberto Bradanini
and 3 others
Ambasciatore d'Italia a Teheran Alberto Bradanini
Ministro degli Affari Esteri Franco Frattini
Ministro degli Affari Esteri Franco Frattini
I just signed the following petition addressed to:

Franco Frattini
Ministero degli Affari Esteri
Piazzale della Farnesina, 1
00135 Roma Italia


In copy to:

Alberto Bradanini
Ambasciata d'Italia a Teheran

Mohammad Javad Larijani
Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights

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Don't Let Iranian Actress Be Imprisoned or Lashed

I am writing to you to express my grave concern about Iranian actress Marzieh Vafamehr. I am particularly disturbed by the reported sentence recently imposed on her of one year imprisonment and 90 lashes.

Reports in the media suggest Ms. Vafamehr has been sentenced for appearing in a movie critical of Iran’s policies; or because she wasn’t wearing a hijab throughout the movie; or because the movie’s producers distributed the movie in Iran illegally.

None of Ms. Vafamehr’s actions rise to the level of a crime. Indeed, they all appear to be matters of free expression which are protected under internationally recognized human rights conventions to which Iran is a state party. Much more concerning, no action or crime deserves the punishment of lashing. This barbaric treatment is in contravention of all norms of international justice and human rights.

I call on the Italian government and Foreign Minister Franco Frattini to issue a formal protest to Iranian government and demand the release of Marzieh Vafamehr as soon as possible. Italy as a democratic state should be an example of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Italians with no doubt support human rights thus we cannot allow people who share the same values in Iran to be imprisoned or lashed by the Iranian authoritarian regime.

Mr. Frattini, we urge you to take a formal stand on this issue and publicly demand the release of Marzieh Vafamehr!

Thank you for your attention to this grave matter.

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Yours Sincerely,