Keywan Karimi condemned to six years in prison and 223 lashes over his films
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.