Lebanon Bans Screening of Iran Film 'Green Days'
Lebanese authorities have banned screening of the Iranian film "Green Days," which deals with protests against the 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an organizer said on Tuesday.
"We received a call yesterday from General Security informing us they had withdrawn the license allowing us to screen the film," Colette Naufal, organizer of the Beirut International Film Festival, told Agence France Presse.
"When we asked them why, we were told: 'This is not our decision, we are only carrying out orders."
The film was to be screened at the Beirut International Film Festival's "Forbidden Films Festival", which showcases previously censored films from June 22 to June 26.
"Green Days" by Iranian film-maker Hana Makhmalbaf, 22, shows raw footage of the violence that erupted when security forces cracked down on protests following Iran's disputed 2009 presidential election.
Makhamalbaf is the daughter of Mohsen Makhamalbaf, who is close to leading Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi whose green-ribbon-wearing supporters gained international attention for protesting against what they said was a rigged election.
A high-ranking official in Lebanon's former government, who had been following the case, said the decision to ban the film came following an appeal by the Iranian ambassador.
"Ambassador Ghadanfar Rokenabadi informed Lebanese authorities that screening the film would be considered an attack on Iranian sovereignty and requested it be banned," the official told AFP, asking not to be identified.
The Iranian embassy had no immediate comment.
Lebanese authorities already banned the screening of "Green Days" at a festival last October that coincided with a visit to Beirut by Ahmadinejad.
After nearly five months of wrangling, Prime Minister Najib Mikati last week formed a government dominated by an alliance led by the Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah movement, leaving the Saudi- and Western-backed bloc that led the previous government out in the cold.