Two independent Iranian film associations have condemned the arrest of artists in Iran amid a broadening crackdown on critics of the Islamic Republic.
The Independent Filmmakers Association (IIFMA) issued a statement demanding the unconditional release of all filmmakers, artists, and political prisoners incarcerated in the country.
"Out of a fear that the women's movement calling for freedom and the potential destabilization of their authoritarian regime might gain further traction, the authorities have resorted to indiscriminate and erratic street violence," the statement reads.
"Additionally, they have employed cunning tactics borne out of desperation to suppress and silence cinematographers and artists," it adds.
The statement came in the wake of the arrest of two Iranian artists: Leila Naqdpari, a cinematographer and a member of the Board of Directors of the Iranian Film Designers Guild, and Ali Noorani, a director, composer and writer.
Naghdipari and Noorani were among hundreds of Iranians detained over the weekend amid street protests marking Mahsa Amini's death in police custody. An actress, Haniyeh Tavasoli, was also detained but she was released on bail after spending one night in custody.
In a statement, the Iranian Film Designers Guild pledged to provide Naghdipari with "legal support."
"We are committed to standing by her side and utilizing all available resources to secure her prompt release," it said.
Last year, Naghdipari was briefly arrested and interrogated at Tehran airport while attempting to leave the country for a film training workshop, resulting in the confiscation of her passport and a one-year travel ban.
The cinematographer is married to Majid Barzegar, a film director who was sentenced to imprisonment and banned from professional activities last year due to his civic and artistic works.
Since the start of the "Woman, Life, Freedom" protest movement sparked by Amini’s death, numerous artists have lent their support to the demonstrators.
As a consequence, pressure on filmmakers has intensified. Many cinematographers have been arrested, while others have faced travel restrictions, work bans, fines, and online censorship.