An empty chair at a screening of his film ‘Drum’ at the Duhok International Film Festival symbolically took the place of Keywan Karimi, banned from travelling by Iranian authorities. Photo: Rudaw video
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdish filmmaker Keywan Karimi began serving a one-year sentence in Tehran’s Evin prison on Wednesday.
Karimi was also sentenced to receive 223 lashes on charges of insulting Islam in his documentary film ‘The Writing on the Walls.’
The judge presiding over the case, Muhammad Moghise, said Karimi had insulted sacred values and promoted illegitimate relations and contact through kissing.
In a telephone conversation with Rudaw in the summer, Karimi, 30, a native of the Kurdish city of Baneh, rejected the accusations and decried his sentencing.
“I’ve made a film about the government, social conditions, graffiti on the walls and the working class,” he said. “It is for people to judge my films. I don’t know why I should be punished like this.”
The commencement of his sentence was confirmed in an announcement from the production company Les Films de l’Apres-Midi.
Karimi’s film “Drum” was screened at this summer’s Duhok International Film Festival. He was not able to attend the screening as Iranian authorities had banned him from leaving the country.