TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian authorities on Thursday detained family members of an imprisoned documentary filmmaker after they showed up outside a Tehran prison to inquire about his reportedly failing health, an opposition website said.
nurizad.net said the wife of filmmaker Mohammad Nourizad then had to be taken to the hospital because she felt sick immediately after being detained.
Nourizad’s son, two daughters, parents and brothers were still in custody after being picked up outside Evin prison, where he is serving a three-and-a-half-year sentence for spreading propaganda against the government and insulting Iran’s leaders.
Opposition websites have reported that the filmmaker was recently hospitalized because of failing health. They also said Nourizad began a hunger strike on Saturday to protest a lack of attention from authorities to his complaints of alleged mistreatment by interrogators at the prison.
Nourizad was arrested last November after writing a letter to the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urging him to apologize to the nation for the bloody crackdown on the opposition after the disputed 2009 June presidential elections.
Iranian authorities arrested many journalists, bloggers and filmmakers after they opposed the crackdown on the postelection protests during which opposition activists say scores were killed. The government says around 30 people died.
Iran’s opposition says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a second term through mass fraud.