Magazine article Screen International

Iran Blocks Rasoulof Travel

Magazine article Screen International

Iran Blocks Rasoulof Travel

Article excerpt

Mohammad Rasoulof was due to present Manuscripts Don't Burn at the Nuremburg International Human Rights Film Festival (NIHRFF).

Iranian authorities have confiscated director Mohammad Rasoulof's passport on the eve of a trip to the Nuremburg International Human Rights Film Festival (NIHRFF) in Germany where he was due to accept a lifetime achievement award and present his latest film Manuscripts Don't Burn.

On Wednesday, the Hamburg Film Festival denied reports circulating that it had announced Rasoulof had been granted permission to travel. Sources close to Rasoulof also denied the rumours.

"We don't know where this story has come from," said a spokeswoman for the festival. "Please read our official press statement on Rasoulof on our website."

According to the NIHRFF, Rasoulof, who divides his time between Tehran and Hamburg, had his passport confiscated by the Iranian authorities when he entered Iran on September 19, preventing him from returning to Germany this weekend as planned.

"We are very concerned for Mr Rasoulof," said festival director Andrea Kuhn said in a statement. "We find it absolutely unacceptable that the Iranian authorities refuse to let him leave the country.

"This is a severe violation of freedom of expression and basic human rights. We ask for the immediate return of Mr Rasoulof's travel documents."

The filmmaker was due to accept a lifetime achievement award at Nuremburg on October 8 and present Manuscripts Don't Burn the day after. Prior to that, he was also due to attend the German premiere of the film at the Hamburg Film Festival on Tuesday evening (1).

He was also supposed to visit the Stockholm Film Festival. "It is unacceptable of the Iranian authorities to prohibit him from leaving the country and that he is being prevented from acting as a filmmaker. It is a violation of freedom of speach and basic human rights," said Director of Stockholm International Film Festival, Git Scheynius, in a statement. …

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