Iranian Actress Freed Following Appeal
Iranian actress Marzieh Vafamehr has been released from jail - three months after she was taken into custody for starring in an acclaimed Australian film which has been banned in her native country.
Vafamehr was sentenced to one year behind bars and ordered to receive 90 lashes after appearing in the 2009 drama My Tehran for Sale, the storyline for which is critical of the Islamic country's hard-line policies. The actress is believed to have been punished for featuring in the film without her traditional hijab headscarf.
But the sentence was overturned by officials at an appeals court on Monday (24Oct11), when her jail term was reduced to the three months already served.
Human rights activists at Amnesty International have hailed the star's release, although they insist it is "deeply worrying" that other Iranian directors, including Jafar Panahi and Mehran Zinatbakhsh, were still imprisoned for speaking out against Iran's oppressive regime through the medium of film.
Last week (begs17Oct11), officials at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Directors Guild of America and the American Society of Cinematographers all joined forces to call for the immediate release of the filmmakers imprisoned in Iran.