Tehran's Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dovlatabadi has confirmed that film director Jafar Panakhi has been arrested. He added that Panakhi was detained not because of his professional or political activity. He is suspected of having relation to certain criminal affairs, Iranian news agency ISNA reported.
According to Dovlatabadi, investigation is underway.
Panakhi, a winner of the film festival in Cannes, Venice and Berlin, is a vociferous opponent to the existing power of Iran.
Panakhi directed five short films and is known inside and outside Iran for such films as "The Circle," "Offside" and "Purple Gold."
In 1995, he directed his first full-length film, "The White Ball," which was showed at the Cannes international film festival. The film won three awards, including Golden Camera and was shown in cinemas worldwide. In 1997, the Culture Ministry of France awarded Panakhi with the Cavalier of Arts title.
Panakhi was supposed to attend a roundtable meeting devoted to the current and future state of Iranian cinematography in Germany on Feb. 11-21.