2016 Iran: Keywan Karimi

Prominent filmmaker Keywan Karimi has received a summons to begin serving his sentence on 23 November 2016. Karimi was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment and 223 lashes on 13 October 2015 by Branch 28 of Tehran Revolutionary Court for ‘insulting the holy sanctities’, ‘spreading propaganda against the system’ and ‘illegitimate relations’. An Appeals Court upheld his sentence in February 2016, ruling to suspend five of his six-year punishment for a period of five years. He is now required to serve a one-year prison term and receive 223 lashes.

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani
Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Oslo, December 12th 2016

Your Excellency President Hassan Rouhani,

The Norwegian Writers in Prison Committee is expressing serious concern about the conviction and harsh sentence imposed on filmmaker Keywan Karimi, and we are calling on the Iranian authorities to quash his conviction as it is connected to his peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression.

We are especially concerned about his flogging sentence, which violates the absolute prohibition in international law against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

We are also calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all other writers and journalists currently detained in Iran in connection with their peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression, in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party.

Yours sincerely,

Jørgen Lorentzen
Member of Writers in Prison Committee
PEN Norway

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs