Marzieh Vafamehr

A statement issued on behalf of 280 Iranian cultural and social activists is expressing their support for Iranian actress Marzieh Vafamehr, who has been sentenced to flogging for her role in “My Tehran for Sale.”

Vafamehr has been sentenced to one year in prison and 90 lashes for playing the lead role in the film by Geranaz Mousavi.

The project was conceived as a 40-minute film, for which the filmmaker had acquired permission from Iran’s Ministry of Guidance. It was completed as a feature-length film and was distributed in Tehran after completion.

The film depicts some of the social problems faced by Iranian citizens through the life of the protagonist, an artist living independently in Tehran.

Recently, six Iranian documentary makers were also arrested for their alleged collaboration with the BBC, and while three have been released, the other three remain in custody.

In the wake of the widespread anti-regime protests that followed the disputed 2009 presidential election, Iran’s film and media community has become a frequent crackdown target. Islamic Republic authorities claim the regime’s enemies are waging a soft war against it through cultural channels.