Amnesty International on Wednesday headed a delegation to the Iran Mission to the United Nations that delivered a petition signed by more than 20,000 people calling for the reversal of the sentence meted out to award-winning director Jafar Panahi for making "propaganda against the system." He was sentenced to six years in prison and barred from making films for 20 years. His associate, Mohammad Rasoulof, received a similar sentence. Among those signing the petition are Paul Haggis, Martin Scorsese, Edward Zwick, Ridley Scott, Phillip Noyce, Ron Howard, Paul Mazursky, Harvey Weinstein, Lina wertmüller, Hans Zimmer, Michael Apted, Sean Penn, Mia Farrow, Gabriel Byrne, Elliott Gould, Harvey Keitel, Patrick Stewart, Josh Brolin, Susan Sarandon, and others. In a statement, Amnesty International USA Executive Director Larry Cox said, "Imagine your government telling you that you cannot work, speak your mind or express your beliefs - or you will be thrown in prison. This is the ordeal that Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof suffer every day. These two men are being persecuted; it is simply wrong and we must speak up against Iran's actions."

09/06/2011