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With disbelief and dismay, we are witnessing a new, extremely violent attack on freedom of expression by the Iranian government against cinema.
The crackdown on Iran's film community continues, in brazen disregard of the many voices of protest from within the international community.
Jafar Panahi, a 1997 Golden Leopard winner in Locarno for the film The Mirror, was arrested after attempting to inquire about the conditions of Mohammad Rasoulof (Golden Bear in Berlin in 2020 for There Is No Evil) and Mostafa Al-Ahmad both accused of "subversion" for a letter condemning the use of force and firearms against protesters in Abadan.
The Locarno Film Festival calls for the immediate release of the arrested filmmakers and for an end to all forms of intimidation and violence against filmmakers, artists, intellectuals and creative people.
Freedom of expression cannot be touched!