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Iranian film director denied entry

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 9 October 2011 - ANHRI condemns the arbitrary prohibition on Nader Daoudi, an Iranian director, from entering Lebanon to participate in the Beirut International Film Festival from 5 to 13 October 2011. The security services considered his attitude towards the Iranian revolution to be hostile and banned his film from the official competition and cancelled the viewing of the film.

The documentary film "The red, the white, and the green" addresses the three weeks preceding the Iranian presidential elections in June 2009, which the current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, won. The director of the festival, Colette Naufal, stated that the Lebanese Control Authority had requested to view the film before it was scheduled to be shown at the festival. She later found out that Daoudi had been banned from entering the country.

It is worth noting that this is not the first incident of its kind. The security services also prevented a number of films from being shown at various film festivals, such as the Iranian documentary film "Green days", directed by Hana Makhmalbaf.

"Preventing a director from participating in a film festival is deplorable. What is more serious, however, is that the security services are playing the role of censor on art and creativity," said ANHRI.

"Cinema and the arts in general are a main means of expression that cannot be suppressed because of political considerations," ANHRI added.

ANHRI demands that the Lebanese authorities review the supervisory structure of creative works, put an end to the security control over the arts, and respect freedom of opinion and expression, making it a top priority.

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