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Oct 11, 2011

Iranian actress gets one-year jail, 90 lashes for part in Aussie film.

Image: Actress Marzieh Vafamehr. Source: The Advertiser

The Iranian Regime is well known for its brutality and barbaric punishment of dissidents and offences against Islam, especially homosexuals, female ‘adulterers’, (who in some cases committed the act by being raped,) protesters, and apostates. Christian pastor, Youcef Nadarkhani, has been sentenced to death for the thought crime, apostasy. While it has not been established that he was ever a Muslim, under Islam he is deemed to be one by family heritage.

Now actress Marzieh Vafamehr has been sentenced to a year in prison and 90 lashes for taking part in, My Tehran For Sale, a South Australian-produced movie critical of the Islamic regimes hard-line policies:

She was arrested in June after black market copies of the film began circulating in Tehran, showing Vafamehr in some scenes without an Islamic hijab which covers the hair and neck

The movie's plot is based in part on (the Director) Moussavi's own life and that of her friend Vafamehr but also on stories the Flinders University film graduate was told when she volunteered as a translator at the Woomera detention centre.

Internet images of officially administered lashings in Iran show victims being placed face down in a prone position and then being whipped with a long stick on the upper legs, back and buttocks. …

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. Footage of those scenes would normally be censored by authorities for being subversive.
Reports indicate that the charges were that there was no permit for filming, although the producers say this is untrue. It is uncertain how such a permit would be obtained, however the South Australian Film Corporation was involved with taxpayer dollars, so it is possible that the regime thought that it was another propaganda ministry they were dealing with, just like their own.

Theocracy in all its forms through the ages has been produced by the same recipe, essentially, 'Mix a bowl of Fascism, add a liberal dash of vengeful God, stir well." The inclusion of religious doctrine within the framework of the state, especially the justice system, places decision making into the hands of those who consider their orders come from God, rather than from a rational secular set of rules. All too often this power causes then to act like psychotics in a clerical collar.

Iran is a perfect example of this form of government, and the best case for strongly maintaining separation of church and state.

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