International Business Times
Monday, October 10, 2011 3:16 PM EDT
In the trailer for Iranian actress Marzieh Vafamehr's film “My Tehran for Sale,” the words "in a country full of contradictions" appear before a group of youth are arrested at a night club and brought to a police station to be beaten. Now, as the Iranian government has convicted Vafamehr for appearing in a film that casts Iran in a negative light, the country has proved that statement to be true.
Vafamehr was arrested for appearing in the short-film, and this weekend an Iranian court sentenced her to one year in prison and 90 lashes, according to The Associated Press.
"Her lawyer has appealed the sentence, which was handed down yesterday [Saturday]," the AP added, citing Kalameh.com.
“There is an appeal which could be lengthy and the family may still believe that public comment will be unhelpful because they are going through all the official channels,” Kate Croser, the Australian co-producer of the film, told Belle News.
Iranian leaders, like President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have supported the activism of the Arab Spring while vocally attacking the West for ignoring human rights. During Ahmadinejad's United Nation's address in September, the president condemned the United States for forcibly abducting people from their homes during the country's slavery period.
Ahmadinejad also called NATO a war-mongering hegemony that is responsible for causing more misery than it has abated. However, Ahmadinejad never mentioned Iran's record on human rights during the 30-minute speech, and failed to mention how many "criminals" were forcibly abducted from their homes in Iran.
Vafamehr was arrested this summer for appearing in the "My Tehran for Sale," which was banned by the Iranian government. Vafamehr was held in Gharchak prison and released on bail in July.
Ironically, “My Tehran for Sale" is about an Iranian actress who is jailed and beaten for acting immodestly. The movie was shot in Tehran, and leaked copies of “My Tehran for Sale" have been passed around the country in defiance of the ban.
Iran is the same country where a Christian pastor named Youcef Nadarkhani was allegedly sentenced to death for the crime of abandoning Islam. The Iranian government now says that Nadarkhani is "a convicted rapist and extortionist," but court documents indicate that the death sentence came after the pastor refused to convert to Islam.
"Mr. Youcef Nadarkhani, son of Byrom, 32 years old, married, born in Rasht in the state of Gilan, is convicted of turning his back on Islam, the greatest religion the prophesy of Mohammad at the age of 19," a Supreme Court document stated.
"He has often participated in Christian worship and organized home church services, evangelizing and has been baptized and baptized others, converting Muslims to Christianity. He has been accused of breaking Islamic Law that from puberty (15 years according to Islamic law) until the age of 19 the year 1996, he was raised a Muslim in a Muslim home.
"During court trials, he denied the prophecy of Mohammad and the authority of Islam. He has stated that he is a Christian and no longer Muslim. During many sessions in court with the presence of his attorney and a judge, he has been sentenced to execution by hanging according to article 8 of Tahrir–olvasileh."