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Acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi released on bail after starting a hunger strike against his detention

Jafar Panahi, a well-known Iranian director, was set free on bail following the beginning of a hunger strike protesting against his nearly seven-month arrest, according to supporters on Friday.

Months before to the current anti-regime rallies erupting, the director, a prizewinner at all the major European film festivals, was taken into custody. But his detention came to represent the predicament of artists who defy the authority.

The US-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) announced on Twitter that Panahi had been freed from Tehran’s Evin prison ‘two days after starting his hunger strike for freedom,’ and Iran’s reformist Shargh newspaper published a photo of Panahi joyfully hugging a supporter following his release on bail.

His wife Tahereh Saeedi posted a picture on Instagram of Panahi being driven from prison in a vehicle.

Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux expressed ‘great relief’ at the news of his release.

The prize-winning director was arrested in July and went on a dry hunger strike on Wednesday to protest his continued detention.


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