ARCHIV - 17.02.2006, Berlin: Jafar Panahi, Filmregisseur aus dem Iran, während seines Besuchs auf der 56. Berlinale in Berlin. Im Iran ist Medienberichten zufolge mit Jafar Panahi ein weiterer kritischer Filmregisseur festgenommen worden. Foto: Jan Bauer/AP/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The Iranian judiciary has confirmed the detention of award-winning film director Jafar Panahi. A spokesman said on Tuesday, according to the state news agency Irna, that Panahi has been in Ewin prison in Tehran for a week. It is about a previous six-year prison sentence that the 62-year-old has to serve.

He was sentenced to six years in prison in 2010 for “propaganda against the regime” and was banned from making films, writing screenplays or speaking to the media for 20 years. He was accused of supporting protests against the re-election of ultra-conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009 and of making critical films.

Panahi was arrested in Iran about a week ago. The award-winning filmmaker had made several films in the past despite a ban on working in Iran and a ban on leaving the country. His film “Taxi Tehran” was awarded the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 2015.

Two other prominent directors were arrested shortly beforehand: Berlinale winner Mohammed Rasoulof and Mostafa Al-Ahmad. According to the Iranian judiciary, they are said to have endangered public order with an appeal against violence and also worked with opponents of the regime. The organizers of the Berlinale had protested against the arrest.

The background to the appeal is the collapse of a shopping arcade in the southwestern Iranian city of Abadan in May, which killed more than 40 people. Protests were then violently suppressed by the police and security forces.