MEPs of various political groups sign petition in support of Iranian filmmaker, Keywan Karimi condemned to six years in prison and 223 lashes over his films.

On October 2015, Keywan Karimi, a 30-year-old internationally-recognized Iranian filmmaker of Kurdish origin was sentenced by the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran to six years in prison and 223 lashes for “propagating against the ruling system” and “insulting religious sanctities” with his movies and for “illicit relations” for shaking the hand of a women with whom he is not related to.

Stelios Kouloglou, Greek MEP with SYRIZA and the European United Left, and Vice-Chair of the Development Committee in the European Parliament, launched a petition to support Karimi. 45 other MEPs of various political groups co-signed this petition which was sent on the 27th October to the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, demanding the cancellation of his punishment within the framework of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified also by Iran.

Karimi is a graduate of Tehran University, studied social sciences and communication. He attended filmmaking workshops in Germany, India, Thailand and Russia. He has received numerous awards for his short film “Broken Border” (2012).

Here is the petition:

Addressed to Mr. Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran


We, Members of the European Parliament from various political groups have learned that the Iranian filmmaker Mr. Keywan Karimi was sentenced in October 13, 2015, to six years in prison and 223 lashes. Already in 2013 Karimi was imprisoned in solitary confinement, then released under house arrest surveillance and bail, preventing him thus from leaving the country.


We do not want to interfere in the internal affairs of Iran, but your country has also ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (and the United Nations Covenant - International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966) and this condemnation is in total contradiction with the Charter and therefore the international obligations of your country, both in terms of freedom of expression, as well as in terms of respect for human dignity and the physical and moral integrity of all human beings.


That's why we ask you to act immediately in the exercise of your duties so that this punishment is cancelled. We demand the lifting of all legal constraints and restrictions against Keywan Karimi to ensure his full freedom of movement and freedom of expression in accordance with international law and international conventions ratified by your country.


Please accept, Mr. President, the assurances of our highest consideration

Signatures of MEPs of various political groups

Stelios Kouloglou                       (SYRIZA, GUE/NGL) Greece, Vice-Chair of the Development committee

Barbara Spinelli                           (Independent, GUE/NGL) Italy, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs

Gabriele Zimmer                         (DIE LINKE, GUE/NGL) Germany, Chair of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left

Dimitrios Papadimoulis               (SYRIZA, GUE/NGL) Vice-Chair of the European Parliament, Greece

Ulrike Lunacek                           (Die Grünen - Die Grüne Alternative, GREENS) Austria, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament

Cornelia Ernst                             (DIE LINKE, GUE/NGL) Germany, Vice-Chair of Delegation for Relations with Iran

Jean Lambert                               (Green Party, GREENS) United Kingdom, Chair of the Delegation for Relations with the Countries of South Asia

Ian Duncan                                 (Conservative Party, ECR) United Kingdom, Vice-Chair of the Delegation for Relations with the Countries of South Asia

Pablo Iglesias                              (PODEMOS, GUE/NGL) Spain, Vice-Chair of the Delegation for Relations with Mercosur

Eleonora Forenza                        (L’Altra Europa con Tsipras, GUE/NGL) Italy, Vice-Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Chile

Sabine Loesing                            (DIE LINKE, GUE/NGL) Germany, Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence

Takis Hadjigeorgiou                    (AKEL, GUE/NGL) Cyprus, Vice-Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey

Fernando Mauro Barandiaran     (Delegación Ciudadanos Europeos, ALDE) Spain, Vice-Chair of the Delegation for Relations with the Maghreb Countries and the Arab Maghreb Union

Philippe Lamberts                       (Ecologistes Confédérés pour l'Organisation de Luttes Originales, GREENS) Belgium, Co-Chair of THE GREENS

Bart Staes                                    (Groen, GREEN) Belgium

Merja KYLLÖNEN                   (Vasemmistoliitto, GUE/NGL) Finland

Helmut Scholz                            (DIE LINKE, GUE/NGL) Germany

Ana Maria Gomes                       (Partido Socialista, Socialists and Democrats) Portugal

Jordi Sebastia                              (Espagne COMPROMIS, GREENS), Spain

Kostas Chrysogonos                   (SYRIZA, GUE/NGL) Greece

Juan Carlos Girauta                     (Ciudadanos, ALDE) Spain

Javier Nart                                   (Ciudadanos, ALDE) Spain, Vice-Chair of the Delegation to the ACP-EU

Miguel Urban                              (PODEMOS, GUE/NGL) Spain

Paloma López Bermejo               (Izquierda Plural, GUE/NGL) Spain

Estefania Torres Martinez           (PODEMOS, GUE/NGL) Spain

Patrick Le Hyaric                        (Front de Gauche, GUE/NGL) France

Tania Penas Gonzalez                 (PODEMOS, GUE/NGL) Spain, Vice-Chair of the Delegation for Relations with the Countries of the Andean Community

Konstadinka Kuneva                  (SYRIZA, GUE/NGL) Greece

Curzio Malteze                            (L’Altra Europa con Tsipras, GUE/NGL) Italy

Josu Abaunz Juaristi                   (EH BILDU, GUE/NGL) Spain

Izaskun Bilbao Baradinca           (Partido Nacionalista Vasco, ALDE) Spain, Vice-Chair of the Delegation for Relations with the Countries of the Andean Community

Lola Maria Dolores Sanchez Caldendey        (PODEMOS, GUE/NGL) Spain

Isabella Adinolfi                         (MoVimento 5Stelle, EFDD) Italy

Marina Albiol Guzman               (Izquierda Unida, GUE/NGL) Spain

Brando Benifei                           (Partito Democratico, Socialists and Democrats) Italy

Charles Tannock                         (Conservative Party, ECR) United Kingdom

Mark Demesmaeker                    (Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie, ECR) Belgium

Katerina Konecna                       (Komunistická strana Čech a Moravy, GUE/NGL) Czech Republic

Jose Inacio Faria                         (Partido da Terra, ALDE) Portugal

Neoklis Sylikiotis                        (Progressive Party of Working People, GUE/NGL) Cyprus

Ernest Maragall                           (Nova Esquerra Catalana, GREENS) Spain

Jude Kirton-Darling                    (Labour Party, Socialists and Democrats) United Kingdom

Malin Björk                                 (Vänsterpartiet, GUE/NGL) Sweden, Vice-Chair of GUE/NGL

Emma McClarkin                        (Conservative Party, ECR) United Kingdom

Costas Mavrides                         (Democratic Party, Socialists and Democrats), Cyprus

Edouard Martin                          (Parti socialiste, Socialists and Democrats) France

The case of Karimi has already raised a large wave of international solidarity. Renowned filmmakers of the ARP (Association of Authors, Directors, Producers) such as Costa Gavras, Michel Hazanavicius,Eric Lartigau and Dante Desarthe joined their forces to support the Iranian filmmaker in his fight for freedom.

Karimi is charged because of his film "Writing on the City" (trailer on Vimeo), a political documentary that traces, through graffiti on the walls of Tehran, the country's history from the fall of the Shah until today.

More information