Iranian film-maker released from Evin prison- human rights group

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BEIRUT, April 20 (Reuters) - Iranian filmmaker Keywan Karimi
has been released after nearly five months in Evin prison in
Tehran on charges of "propaganda against the state" and
"insulting sacred values", the Human Rights Activists News
Agency (HRANA), a news site run by a collective of Iranian human
rights advocates, said on Thursday.
    Karimi, 31, was released on Wednesday, HRANA said.
    The charges stem from a documentary about political graffiti
in Tehran made by Karimi called "Writing on the City". In 2015,
Karimi was found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison and
223 lashes but an appeals court subsequently reduced the
sentence to one year in prison.
    Since late December, at least 22 journalists and activists
have been arrested, according to the Center for Human Rights in
Iran, a New York-based research and advocacy organization. Many
are being kept in solitary confinement without access to their
family or lawyers.
    About a dozen of those arrested have been administrators of
pro-reformist channels on Telegram, a social media platform used
by millions of Iranians. They were rounded up in mid-March,
though some were subsequently released.
    The arrests have posed a challenge for Iranian president
Hassan Rouhani, who promised to increase freedom for ordinary
Iranians while in office and has registered to run in
presidential elections on May 19.
    The Iranian judiciary did not issue a statement about Karimi
on Thursday but HRANA said that he had been let out of Evin on a
"conditional release".

 (Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; editing by Ralph Boulton)


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