A Toronto-based filmmaker with Canadian residency is arrested in Iran, his family says
A Toronto-based filmmaker with Canadian residency is arrested in Iran, his family says © Richard Bouhet - AFP/File
A Toronto-based filmmaker with Canadian residency is arrested in Iran, his family says
AFP
Last updated: March 31, 2015

Iranian filmmaker with ties to Canada arrested in Iran

Banner Icon A Toronto-based filmmaker with Canadian residency has been arrested in Iran, his family said Monday.

Mostafa Azizi, 53, returned to his birth country in February to care for his ailing father, and was considering moving back when he was arrested on February 1, his son Arash told AFP.

"He wanted to move back to Iran," Arash said. "Especially after (Iran's government) said that Iranians abroad can return home, he was among many who wanted to use the opportunity to come back home."

He said Azizi was being held in Tehran's Evin Prison and has been charged with insulting Iran's Supreme leader and spreading propaganda against the Islamic establishment.

Azizi's son also said his arrest may have been connected with social media posts he made.

According to Arash, Azizi was held in solitary confinement for more than two weeks before being transferred to the prison's general population. He is expected to stand trial in June.

Canada closed its embassy in Tehran in 2012, and advises its citizens and permanent visa-holders not to travel to Iran.

"In the context of heightened regional tensions, Iranian-Canadian dual citizens and Canadian permanent residents with Iranian citizenship may be particularly vulnerable to investigation and harassment by Iranian authorities," said Francois Lasalle, spokesman for Canada's foreign ministry.

Azizi studied theoretical economics from Tehran University and worked in television, film and radio before moving to Canada in 2010, where he founded a film production company, according to his biography on industry database IMDB.

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