Mar 09, 2020
The Berlinale Protests the Imminent Incarceration of Golden Bear Winner Mohammad Rasoulof
The Berlin International Film Festival was dismayed to learn of the order of imminent incarceration issued by the Iranian authorities against the renowned director Mohammad Rasoulof. Rasoulof’s film There is no Evil was awarded the Golden Bear for Best Film at the Berlinale 2020 on February 29.
In his films, Mohammad Rasoulof focuses on the social situation in his home country. As punishment for his cinematic oeuvre, viewed by the judiciary as constituting “propaganda against the system”, Rasoulof had already been sentenced in 2019 to one year in prison and a two-year ban on practising his profession. Since then, he has not been permitted to leave Iran. Accordingly, he was unable to personally accept his Golden Bear at the Berlinale. The sentence had not yet been carried out. On March 4, however, Mohammad Rasoulof was ordered by the presiding appellate judge in Tehran to begin his period of incarceration.
The Berlinale is fundamentally committed to the freedom of expression and the freedom of the arts. Therefore, the festival protests the prison sentence against the director.
“We are deeply concerned about the incarceration order for Mohammad Rasoulof. It’s shocking that a director is punished so hard for his artistic work”, say the Berlinale directors, Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian. “We hope that the Iranian authorities will soon revise the judgment.”
March 9, 2020