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Source: Guardian

Jul 23, 2023

Iran authorities ban film festival over poster of actor without hijab

Government blocks event after release of publicity featuring Susan Taslimi in 1982 film The Death of Yazdgerd

BY Agence France-Presse in Tehran

Iranian authorities have banned a film festival that issued a publicity poster featuring an actor who was not wearing a hijab, state media has reported.

The move came after the Iranian Short Film Association (ISFA) released a poster for its upcoming short-film festival featuring the Iranian actor Susan Taslimi in the 1982 film The Death of Yazdgerd.

The state news agency, IRNA, reported on Saturday: “The culture minister has personally issued an order to ban the 13th edition of the ISFA film festival, after using a photo of a woman without a hijab on its poster in violation of the law.”

The festival had been scheduled for September.

However, Iranian women have increasingly flouted the strict dress code since mass protests broke out last September calling for an end to compulsory wearing of the hijab.

The months-long protests were triggered by the death of 22-year-old Iranian Kurd Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested by the morality police for allegedly breaching the dress code.

Earlier this month, police said patrols had been relaunched to arrest the increasing number of women ignoring the law.

The judiciary’s Mizan Online website said late on Saturday that legal measures were being taken against the e-commerce company Digikala over images of female employees not wearing the head covering.

On Wednesday, a Tehran court handed the prominent actor Afsaneh Bayegan a suspended two-year prison sentence for failing to wear the hijab at a public event.

It also ordered Bayegan to make weekly visits to a psychological centre “to treat the mental disorder of having an anti-family personality” and to submit a health certificate after her treatment, Fars news agency reported.

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