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Friday, 31 August, 2001, 16:18 GMT 17:18 UK
Iranian film director 'counter-revolutionary'
Tahmineh Milani
Milani's film The Hidden Half is still showing in Iran
Iran's conservative judiciary has for the first time revealed why a prominent film director was detained earlier this week.

Tahmineh Milani was arrested on Sunday for allegedly supporting "counter-revolutionary" groups.

Mrs Milani is well known for her liberal and feminist views and her latest film, The Hidden Half, deals with an explosive mixture of the role of women and anti-Islamic rebels.


She showed support in her work for the counter-revolutionary groups which wage war against God

Tehran's Islamic Revolution Court
In the past year, several journalists and writers have been arrested and correspondents say Mrs Milani's arrest suggests the hard-line judiciary is now targeting other intellectuals.

A statement from the public relations office of Tehran's Islamic Revolution Court said that Mrs Milani, "showed support in her work for the counter-revolutionary groups which wage war against God."

No mistake

She had "exploited art" it said, adding that "judicial investigations continue".

On Thursday, there had been reports that the film director had been arrested by mistake.

Press freedom demonstrator
Newspapers have been closed - film makers might be next

The Hidden Half tells the story of a married woman who reminisces about a romantic affair with a left-wing rebel after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

It was officially approved by Iran's Culture Ministry, which is controlled by reformists loyal to President Mohammad Khatami and is still being shown in Iranian cinemas.

'Male-dominated'

Iran's film industry has won international acclaim in recent years, and correspondents say film makers have had greater freedom to tackle subjects previously considered taboo.

In a recent interview, Mrs Milani said that feminism was a way of "fighting (Iran's) male-dominated system".

Reformists and conservatives are engaged in a long-running battle for supremacy of Iran's political institutions.

The president and parliament are reformists, while the courts and the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are sticking to the hard-line principles of the 1979 revolution.

See also:

29 Aug 01 | Middle East
Iranian film director 'arrested'
18 Aug 01 | Middle East
Iran police plan moral crusade
27 Sep 00 | Middle East
Iran's artists urged to depict war
12 Jul 01 | Middle East
Iranian adulteress stoned to death
16 Aug 01 | Middle East
Three men publicly hanged in Iran
29 Jul 01 | Middle East
New floggings in Iran
11 Mar 01 | Middle East
Khatami: Iran must have democracy
23 Jul 01 | Middle East
Iranian minister condemns floggings
16 Jul 01 | Middle East
Iran reformist jailed for six years
11 Jun 01 | Middle East
Poll boosts Khatami reform bid
22 Apr 01 | Middle East
Iran court sentences 100 rioters
20 Dec 00 | Country profiles
Country profile: Iran
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