This email just came across my desk from a colleague in Iran:
Amin Maher, the actor in Abass Kiarostami’s movie “Ten” and son of Mania Akbari artist and director got arrested. Mania states:” It was Tuesday around ten in the evening, when I first heard of my son’s arrest. I got shocked and I found myself in total despair. Amin is only seventeen years old and is currently in eleventh grade and attending the program in his school. I immediately started to look for him, experiencing very hard and painful moments. Moments that neither cinema nor any other kind of art will ever be able to express. What I went through and witnessed that night is not easy to describe…I had no idea where they had taken my son to, therefore I stared looking in every ambulance, every police station and every
hospital in town. I came face to face with other parents looking for their children as well. Mothers screaming and calling the names of their sons and daughters. Fathers weeping silently. Terrified kids in police stations awaiting their faith…it was a total nightmare. A nightmare that will remain with all of us for the rest of our lives. It was early Wednesday morning when I finally found my son at the Pasdaran’s police station. The reasons for his arrest were that he was wearing a green band to show his support for Mr. Moussavi and also that he had been identified as an active participant during the presidential campaign. Finally on Wednesday he was released with the intervention of some friends, artists and some related police authorities. Amin had been subjected to serious beatings and emotional disturbance. I felt ashamed of seeing him in his condition. I had created a false illusion for him regarding the country he had been born in, about prevailing humanism and democratic atmosphere. I had always encouraged him to consider going to top universities in Iran, instead of opting
for studying abroad. I remember talking to the press a while ago, mentioning humanity, the love for people, patriotism and the positive way of thinking towards a democratic society.
Unfortunately now I have to express my disagreement with the
ever-increasing violence in our society today. Violence is not the answer and freedom will only be attained through
respecting the democratic rights of each and every human being. Although my son took the beating from the opposition group, I as a mother and an artist oppose to any violence under any circumstances. Today I would like to take this opportunity to ask my fellow artists, friends and family to participate in promoting a peaceful approach and strongly condemn any kind of violence. Therefore I hope to be able to live in my country Iran, where I will never have to see another club nor another whip.
- Mania Akbari