(Tehran) Iranian dissident director Jafar Panahi, released from prison in February, left his country for the first time in nearly 14 years for a stay in France, his lawyer told AFP on Wednesday.

The 62-year-old filmmaker, whose films have won awards at numerous festivals, was released on bail in early February after nearly seven months in detention in Tehran.

He had been banned from leaving the territory since 2010, when he was sentenced to six years in prison for “propaganda against the system”.

“After serving his sentence, Mr. Panahi was allowed to leave the country and obtained his passport,” Saleh Nikbakht said.

On Tuesday evening, the filmmaker’s wife posted a photo of herself and Mr. Panahi at an airport on her Instagram page, displaying her joy at getting out of the country.

Me Nikbakht confirmed for his part that the director had traveled to France to visit his daughter who lives there, without specifying the duration of the stay.

Arrested on July 11, 2022 in Tehran, Jafar Panahi was released in February, two days after going on a hunger strike to protest against his conditions of detention.

“As far as I know, there are no more court records against him,” his lawyer said.

Jafar Panahi won a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2000 for his film The Circle, then the Golden Bear in Berlin for Taxi Tehran in 2015 before winning Best Screenplay for Three Faces at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018.

His latest film, No Bear, which, like most of his recent works, features him directly, was screened in 2022 at the Venice Film Festival when he was already imprisoned. He won the Special Jury Prize.