Actors Equity has written to the Australian Ambassador of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Babaei, and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd, expressing concern for Iranian actress Marzieh Vafamehr.
Ms Vafamehr has been sentenced to one year’s imprisonment and ninety lashes for her performance in the film My Tehran For Sale. The South Australian-produced film was shot in the Iranian capital and tells the story of a young actress whose stage work is banned by authorities.
The film premiered at the Adelaide Film Festival in 2009 was part of the official selection for the Toronto International Film Festival but is banned in Iran.
A spokesperson for Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd says the Australian Government is also deeply concerned by the reports.
UPDATE: Equity welcomes release of Marzieh Vafamehr
It has been reported to Actors Equity that Iranian actress Marzieh Vafamehr has had her sentence reduced to three months and will not receive any form of corporal punishment. As Ms Vafamehr has already served four months in jail she has now been released.
As you would be aware Ms Vafamehr was sentenced last month to one year’s imprisonment and 90 lashes, apparently for her performance in the film My Tehran For Sale.
While we remain concerned that Ms Vafamehr has been found guilty and given a custodial sentence for simply performing in her chosen career, we are pleased that Ms Vafamehr is now free.
Actors Equity wishes to thank you for lending your name and your support to this cause through what has been an extremely distressing and emotional time for Ms Vafamehr, her family and her colleagues.