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Iranian Film Actress In Custody

Marzieh Vafamehr
Marzieh Vafamehr
Iranian actress Marzieh Vafamehr has been held in a prison in a Tehran suburb for the past month on charges related to her appearance in a film, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.
Vafamehr's husband, Nasser Taghvai, a prominent film director and screenwriter, told RFE/RL on July 20 that the charges against his wife are nonpolitical and related to the movie "My Tehran For Sale," in which she played the lead role.
"My Tehran For Sale" (2009) is an Australian-Iranian coproduction and was the directorial debut of Granaz Mussavi. The film focuses on the social problems faced by young Iranians.
Vafamehr was arrested by the newly-established Prosecutor's Office for Culture and Media. Taghvai told RFE/RL she is supposed to be kept in detention at the Gharchak prison until the investigation is complete.
"How can the judge investigate such a case when the most important people involved in this film are no longer in Iran?" he asked.
Taghvai also said such investigations are usually carried out by the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry, whose staff at least have some knowledge of the arts and cinema, not by an institution whose staff have "no such knowledge and who mistake fiction for reality."

Actress Pegah Ahangarani and documentary filmmaker Mahnaz Mohammadi have also been taken into custody in recent weeks.
Ahangarani, who acted in the movie "Women's Prison" (2001), was scheduled to travel to Germany on July 4 to blog about the 2011 women's soccer World Cup for Deutsche Welle.
Mohammadi, the director of the documentary "Women Without Shadows," was
arrested in June on unspecified charges.