Canadian-based filmmaker barred from leaving Iran

France’s Foreign Ministry is expressing concern about the fate of a Montreal-based filmmaker who is barred from leaving Iran.Mehrnoushe Solouki, a graduate student at The Universite du Quebec at Montreal, went to Iran in December 2006.

She was filming a documentary on events following a 1988 ceasefire between Iraq and Iran.

Solouki is a French citizen but has been a permanent resident of Canada since 2004.

Media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders says Solouki was arrested in February while making her film.

She was told she could not leave Iran, the country of her birth, because her French passport was being withheld.

She was freed in March but her notes and raw film footage were seized.

Meanwhile, she is still awaiting permission to leave the country.

“We are informed about Solouki’s situation, which we are following with the greatest attention. We are in contact with her in Tehran, where she is regularly received at the French Embassy,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said Friday.

“We are also in contact with the Iranian authorities about her situation,” he said. “We hope that her situation can be settled and that she can benefit from full freedom of movement.”

Solouki’s French passport was returned to her after the French Embassy intervened, Reporters Without Borders said in a statement, but added that the Tehran prosecutor’s office is awaiting a green light from the intelligence ministry to allow her to leave.

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