The members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association wish to express their sadness and outrage at the sentences handed out to filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof, who were both given six-year prison terms on Monday by the Iranian government. If that were not unconscionable enough, Mr. Panahi has additionally been banned from making films, traveling abroad, or speaking with journalists for 20 years. Their crime? Daring to make a film that examined their homeland in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 presidential election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. When governments imprison filmmakers, they hope that their brutish actions will silence these voices -- and therefore silence other artists who might dare follow in their footsteps. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association deplores such actions and refuses to stay silent -- and we encourage all others who support freedom in the arts to speak out as well.

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