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Wed 18 May 2011 01:26 PM

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Iran lets convicted filmmaker travel abroad

Mohammad Rasoulof arrested after backing Mousavi in Iran's 2009 disputed election

Iran lets convicted filmmaker travel abroad
IRANIAN FILMAKER: Iran has lifted a travel ban on convicted filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof, who was honoured at this years Cannes film festival, his lawyer was quoted as saying

Iran has lifted a travel ban on convicted filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof, who was honoured at this year's Cannes film festival, his lawyer was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Rasoulof was arrested along with acclaimed film director Jafar Panahi in March last year after supporting opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi in the country's 2009 disputed presidential election.

Both were charged with "actions and propaganda against the system" and were sentenced in December to six years in prison and banned from making films or travelling abroad for 20 years.

"My client's travel ban has been lifted... but because his film has already been shown at the Cannes film festival, it is not definite whether he will travel there," Rasoulof's lawyer Iman Mirzazadeh was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.

Cannes organisers had said Rasoulof's "Good Bye" - the story of a young Tehran lawyer trying to get a visa to leave Iran, and "This is not a film" - Panahi's depiction of a day in his life as he waits for the verdict of a court appeal would be shown at the festival which opened last week.

The festival will also see Panahi awarded the Carrosse d'Or (Golden Coach) prize by the SRF society of directors, a tribute to the "innovative qualities, courage and independent-mindedness" of his work, the SRF has said.

Panahi won the Camera d'Or prize in Cannes for his 1995 film "The White Balloon" and the Golden Lion for Best Film at the Venice festival with "The Circle". He has been honoured at several international festivals since his arrest.

US director Steven Spielberg and French actress Juliette Binoche have been among the film luminaries who have spoken up for him.

Iranian authorities regularly accuse Western governments and media of conducting propaganda against the Islamic Republic.

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