Filmmaker Keywan Karimi beaten in Iran’s Evin Prison, denied hospital treatment

Kerim Keywani on set.

Iranian Kurdish filmmaker Keywan Karimi, who has been imprisoned since 23 November 2016, was attacked by some other prisoners in Tehran’s Evin prison on 25 February.

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) has reported that Karimi was injured on his leg, which had been operated on recently.

According to Iranwire, Karimi was not given permission to go hospital due to his rejection of wearing ‘a dirty prison uniform’.

Karimi has been suffering from bronchitis and a lung infection which he needs immediate medical treatment for in a specialised facility. Pen International and Amnesty made several calls to Iranian authorities to transfer Karimi to a medical health centre. Yet this has been denied.

Evin Prison is regularly reported on with accusations of ignoring the security of the prisoners, especially Sunni and Kurdish individuals. According to the HRANA, Hamzeh Darwish, a Sunni prisoner who suffers mental illness was tortured severely by the medical staff of Evin Prison recently. Some other political prisoners such as musician Mehdi Rajabian and Vahid Sayadi Nassiri were reported to be abused.

Who is Keywan Karimi?

Keywan Karimi is a prominent documentary and fiction filmmaker. His documentary Marz-e Shekasteh (The Broken Border) was awarded with the best short documentary in Beirut International Film Festival in 2013.

He was charged with “insulting sanctities” for his documentary “Writing on the City” and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment and 223 lashes. Karimi is known among international film critics for his 2013 black-and-white minimalist film “The Adventure of the Married Couple.”

The film played in some 40 festivals, winning prizes in Spain and Colombia.