“Dear God, in 2009 you took my favorite singer — Michael Jackson, my favorite actress — Farrah Fawcett, my favorite actor — Patrick Swayze, my favorite voice — Neda [a reference to Neda Agha-Soltan, an Iranian who was killed during last year's protests of the country's presidential election],” the message read. “Please, please, don’t forget my favorite politician — Ahmadinejad, and my favorite dictator — [Iranian cleric Ali] Khamenei in the year 2010. Thank you.”
A Montreal-based filmmaker working on a documentary detailing the aftermath of the Iran-Iraq war will go to trial this month on charges of intending to spread propaganda.
Mehrnoushe Solouki, a 38-year-old doctoral student at the University of Quebec in Montreal, was arrested in February after interviewing family members of an opposition group in Iran.
The filmmaker was held in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison for a month before being released on $116,000 Cdn in bail that her family paid by mortgaging out their home in France.
Solouki, also a French citizen, has not been allowed to leave the Iran since her release from prison and will face a closed a trial on Nov. 17. Authorities confiscated her notes and film footage.
The confused student told the Globe and Mail she finds the charges “very bizarre” as no footage of the incomplete film has been shown publicly. Also, Solouki obtained permission from Iranian authorities to produce the documentary.
Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders have rallied behind Solouki’s case since Iranian authorities have a history of cracking down on journalists.