Melbourne: Iranian actress Marzieh Vafemehr
who was sentenced to 90 lashes and further imprisonment for
acting in a South Australian film has been released, according
to top human rights watchdog Amnesty International.
"We are extremely pleased to hear that Marzieh has been
released without being subjected to the cruel and degrading
punishment of flogging, but the crackdown on filmmakers
continues in Iran," Amnesty`s campaign manager Hannah Harborow
was quoted as saying in the local media.
"Marzieh seems to have been released after an appeal
court reduced her imprisonment to three months and overturned
the flogging sentence on Monday night," Harborow said.
She was arrested in June after black market copies of the
film -`My Tehran For Sale` began circulating in Tehran.
In 2008, Vafamehr and South Australian producers Croser
and Julie Ryan filmed the movie in Tehran and brought the
footage back to Adelaide for post production.
Vafamehr plays the character of a young actress in Tehran
whose theatre work is banned by the authorities.
She is then forced to lead a secret life in order to
express herself artistically while at the same time trying to
migrate to Australia.
The 2009 film was highly controversial in Iran only
because it showed footage of uninhibited modernised Iranians
at Western-style rave parties.
The film showed her in some scenes without an Islamic
hijab which covers the hair and neck.
Vafamehr`s family had requested a Western media blackout
of the case since her arrest but the Iranian opposition
website Kalameh.com went public with news of the actress`s
harsh punishment earlier this month.