Jafar Panahi, member of the Cannes Festival jury presently imprisoned at Evin, has sent the following message to Abbas Baktiari, director of the Pouya cultural center.
This message seems sufficiently alarming for us to post it on line, after consulting with Armin Arefi and those close to Panahi, without delay.
The last line of this message makes one’s blood run cold ; Jafar Panahi’s friends throughout the world, his film making colleagues, and the members of the jury gathered around his empty chair must be made aware of it immediately.
The message from Panahi
Latest declaration of Jafar Panahi since the beginning of his hunger strike.
I hereby declare that I have been subject to ill treatment in Evin prison.
On Saturday May 15, 2010, prison guards suddenly entered our cell, n° 56. They took us away, my cell mates and I, made us strip and kept us in the cold for an hour and a half.
Sunday morning, they brought me to the interrogation room and accused me of having filmed the interior of my cell, which is completely untrue. Then they threatened to imprison my entire family at Evin and to mistreat my daughter in an unsafe prison in the city of Rejayi Shahr.
I have eaten and drunk nothing since Sunday morning, and I declare that if my wishes are not respected, I will continue to abstain from drinking and eating. I do not want to be a rat in a laboratory, victim of their sick games, threatened and psychologically tortured.
My wishes are :
– The possibility to contact and see my family, and the complete assurance that they are safe.
– The right to retain and communicate with an attorney, after 77 days of imprisonment.
– Unconditional liberty until the day of my judgment and the final verdict
– Finally, I swear upon what I believe in, the cinema : I will not cease my hunger strike until my wishes are satisfied.
My final wish is that my remains be returned to my family, so that they may bury me in the place they choose.
Source : Centre culturel Pouya, Tuesday, May 18, 2010, Cannes