This is why we should all be very grateful for the freedoms we have in America.
Acclaimed director Jafar Panahi was sentenced to six years in prison yesterday for "acting and propaganda against the system."
It was no secret that Jafar, who is the winner of many international awards, is not supportive of the Iran's elected leader and fervently campaigned for his opposition. Early last March, Jafar was arrested at his home and then forced into trial, accused of making a film without permission and inciting opposition protests after the 2009 election that led to months of political turmoil.
With this guilty verdict, not only will he spend the next six years in jail, but he is also banned from "making films, writing any kind of scripts, traveling abroad and talking to local and foreign media for 20 years," according to his lawyer.
They have 20 days to appeal the ruling, which we hope they do, but it may not end successfully.
Not only has one of his fundamental freedoms been compromised, but now he must suffer for being brave enough to speak his mind.
Such a shame. He is in our thoughts.
[Image via AP Images.]