Tehran’s Prosecutor has announced that the makers of the controversial film Appearance Is Near are being legally pursued in Iran and that there are no hunger strikes in Iranian prisons. Iranian media report that the prosecutor discussed both subjects.
The film Appearance Is Near, a documentary claiming that the re-appearance of the 12th Imam of the Shiites is near, has kicked off a controversy in Iran, and many members of the clergy have spoken out against it. Shiites believe that the 12th Imam’s re-appearance will occur on the day of judgement.
Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi, Tehran’s prosecutor, said that “disseminating lies on any subject and focusing on matters that create doubt in people’s beliefs is definitely a crime.”
Two days ago, the National Youth Organization announced that according to informed sources, Ali Asghar Sirjani, director of the film, has been arrested.
Dowlatabadi added that the financial backers and distributors of the film have not yet been identified. Two millions DVDs of the film has been distributed, according to Tehran’s prosecutor. He claimed such a large distribution must have been achieved with the backing of a particular organization ,even though the producers have denied any ties to other groups.
When asked about hunger strikes among Iranian political prisoners, the prosecutor said judges and officials are constantly inspecting prisons, and he has not been informed of any hunger strikes.
Earlier, opposition websites reported that a group of political prisoners in Rejai Shahr Prison have begun a hunger strike to protest their “harsh conditions.”
Also, Fakhrossadat Mohtashamipour, the jailed wife of Mostafa Tajzadeh, another political prisoner, is on a hunger strike until she gets an in-person visit with her husband.