More than 135 Iranian film directors have written a letter urging the country's judiciary to acquit a filmmaker who was sentenced in October to six years in jail and 223 lashes.
Kayvan Karimi, a 30-year-old Iranian Kurd, was convicted by a Tehran revolutionary court of "insulting the sacred" for his film Writing On The City -- a documentary about political slogans written on the walls of buildings in Tehran.
He remains free until an appeal hearing on December 23, but the punishment could be carried out if he loses that appeal.
Speaking of their "shock and disbelief," 137 filmmakers who signed the letter urged the sentence to be rescinded by "applying justice in the appeals court where misunderstandings can be settled."
In Iran’s revolutionary courts, the trials are not public, there are no juries, and a single judge issues the ruling -- often within minutes.