Iranian director Rasoulof sentenced to eight years in prison and flogging, says his lawyer

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof's film is due to premiere at Cannes Film Festival.


The Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof has been sentenced to eight years in prison, flogging, a fine and the confiscation of property, his lawyer, Babak Paknia, said.

Lawyer Paknia said that the judgment was confirmed in a court of appeal and the case had now been sent for enforcement.

Paknia added that the main reasons given for the punishment were Rasoulof’s public statements, as well as his continued involvement in making films and documentaries, which the court described as "examples of collusion with the intention of committing a crime against the country’s security."

Rasoulof, 52, is one of Iran’s leading directors, whose latest film, The Seed of the Sacred Fig, is due to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next week. Since its inclusion was announced last month, the director and the festival had come under considerable pressure from Iranian authorities to pull the film from competition.