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Source: AP News

Feb 3, 2023

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Acclaimed Iranian director Jafar Panahi was released on bail Friday, two days after going on hunger strike to protest his imprisonment last summer, his supporters said.

Panahi was arrested last July and later ordered to serve six years on charges of propagandizing against the government, a sentence dating back to 2011 that had never been enforced.

He is among a number of Iranian artists, sports figures and other celebrities who have been detained after speaking out against the theocracy. Such arrests have become more frequent since nationwide protests broke out in September over the death of a young woman in police custody.

Panahi, 62, had continued making award-winning films for over a decade despite being legally barred from travel and filmmaking. His latest film, “No Bears,” was released to widespread praise in September while he was behind bars, a week before the protests erupted.

Yusef Moulai, Panahi’s lawyer, confirmed he had been released on bail and returned home. He said Panahi was in good health after two days without food. He declined to provide further information.

The semiofficial ISNA news agency said several artists had welcomed him as he departed the notorious Evin Prison in the capital, Tehran.

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