DUBAI – Acclaimed Iranian director Jafar Panahi was released on bail Friday, two days after going on hunger strike to protest his six-year sentence, his supporters said.
Panahi was arrested last July and ordered to serve a previous sentence dating back to 2011 — on charges of propagandizing against the government — that had never been carried out.
He is among several Iranian artists, athletes and other celebrities to face reprisals for criticizing authorities amid months of anti-government protests.
He had continued making award-winning films for several years despite being legally barred from travel and filmmaking. His latest film, “No Bears,” was released to widespread praise in September while he was behind bars.
His release was announced in a public statement from his supporters. The semiofficial ISNA news agency said several artists had welcomed him as he departed the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran.