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Jafar Panahi

On 20 December 2010, Jafar Panahi was handed a six-year jail sentence and a 20-year ban on making or directing any movies, writing screenplays, giving any form of interview with Iranian or foreign media as well as leaving the country.[2]

As if to underline its weakness, the Iranian regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued the above sentence to Jafar Panahi. Since the popular “Green” movement of a year and a half ago, his government has steadily applied the heavy hand of violence and suppression ostensibly in the name preserving the Islamic Republic. While this suppression has been, thus far, successful, and the voices for change have been driven underground or silenced, a sentence such as that given to Panahi signal not strength, but a profound weakness. While Iranian prisons are indeed the burial ground for many who enter them, should Panahi survive, it is sure that the balance of his sentence will be negated by the collapse of the regime which imposed it. Any glance at history, recent and ancient, shows that dictatorial repressions such as that occurring in present day Iran are always short-term and collapse from the internal stresses their structural contradictions produce.

Ahmadinejad at the UN

“Usually, you cannot prove that sort of thing. How can you prove that you are not a bad person?” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad


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