Iran’s House of Cinema is calling on authorities to observe the rights of filmmakers and other members of the film community that have been arrested in the past week.
In a statement, the House of Cinema (Khaneh Cinema) has urged its members to show more patience, while demanding that security and judicial authorities treat the recently detained filmmakers fairly and with due process.
The statement adds: “It is more than a week since a number of our documentary filmmakers have been detained. Unfortunately, the arrests are due to a misunderstanding regarding the sale of documentaries made by these filmmakers to the BBC television network.”
The announcement adds that the Islamic Republic has never had any laws against the international sale and distribution of films.
Iran’s official media reported on Friday that “a large network of those who provide information, film, topics and reports on various Iranian environments for the Persian BBC have been identified, and necessary action will be taken against them soon.”
Some media outlets have identified the detainees as Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Hadi Afarideh, Mohsen Shahnazdar, Katayoon Shahabi and Nasser Saffarian.
Following this report, Iran’s Minister of Culture and Guidance confirmed the arrest of six documentary makers by intelligence and security forces. The Ministry of Intelligence also announced that a number of people had been arrested for collaborating with Persian BBC.
The BBC has announced, however, that it has no employees or collaborators in Iran.