Scorsese raises voice for jailed Iranian directors

London, Dec 24 (IANS) Legendary filmaker Martin Scorsese is urging Hollywood to ‘campaign aggressively’ to free two Iranian directors who were sentenced to six years in jail this week, insisting fellow filmmakers to ‘stand up’ for the imprisoned pair.

The Oscar-winner was among a number of stars, including Robert De Niro and Steven Spielberg, who signed a petition to free Jafar Panahi after he was arrested in March this year and Mohammad Rasulov, reports

Panahi is a vocal supporter of the country’s opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi and was convicted of campaigning against the Iranian government Dec 20 while Rasulov was also jailed for six years, and now Scorsese is leading the charge to publicise their plight.

‘I was shocked and disheartened by the news of Jafar Panahi and Mohammed Rasoulof’s conviction and sentencing. It’s depressing to imagine a society with so little faith in its own citizens that it feels compelled to lock up anyone with a contrary opinion. As filmmakers, we all need to stand up for Panahi and Rasoulof. We should applaud their courage and campaign aggressively for their immediate release,’ Scorsese said in a statement.

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