An Iranian actress who was sentenced to a year in jail and 90 lashes for appearing in a film critical of the country's government has been released, according to Amnesty International and the film's producers.
Actress Marzieh Vafamehr stared in the recently released My Tehran for Sale. In the film, she appears in one scene without the head-covering that Iranian women must wear, while in another she appears to drink alcohol, Amnesty International said.
The film, which premiered at the 2009 Adelaide Film Festival was never officially released in Iran. But copies emerged on the local black market and Vafamehr was arrested in July this year, apparently for appearing in the film without a headscarf and on suspicion of consuming alcohol
While Vafamehr has been freed, Amnesty International points out that Iran has been cracking down on filmmakers. Hadi Afarideh, Naser Saffarian, Mohsen Shahrnazdar and Katayoun Shahabi were arrested Sept. 17 on suspicion of having sold their films to foreign broadcasters. Doing so without permission from the government is prohibited in Iran.