Iran: Arrests Continue. ACAR Statement on International Women’s Day

In the wake of February’s national holiday, prominent prisoners in particular were released from prison. Tens of thousands remain in prison and arrests continue. Newly detained are four actors: Ali Baraghbani, Ramin Ramezanian, Hossein Padegan and Masih Kamali. This brings our list of arrested theater artists in Iran to 45. In the meantime, 15 have been released from prison after several months of imprisonment, 6 of them only temporarily.

March 8 is International Women’s Day. While the world public is following with disgust and indignation the recent series of poison attacks against girls’ schools in Iran, the 2nd Sahebdlan International Theater Festival in Iran invites in an email to the national ITI centers for March 7 to an online debate under the motto: „Human rights according to the Qur’an in the production of dramatic literature“. The ITI centers from Czech Republic,  Finland, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland Uganda and USA, which are active in the Artists Rights Committee, declare together with the German centre: We received the call of the Sahebdlan International Theatre Festival with astonishment. We strongly reject the invitation to discuss human rights within the framework of the Qur’an in drama on the eve of International Women’s Day, while dozens of our Iranian performing arts colleagues are being held in prison or threatened with death for expressing their protest against arbitrariness, murder and state terror. We stand in solidarity with all people on stage and in the auditorium, on the street and in the universities, against the bloody violence perpetrated by the Iranian state against women and children in the name of the Qur’an!

Updated List of arrested Iranian theatre artists