PARIS:- An Iranian director sentenced to 223 lashes for making a film that has never been officially shown in his homeland said Friday he just wanted to be left alone to work rather than "be turned into a hero". Keywan Karimi ran into trouble with Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards over a documentary he shot called "Writing on the City" about graffiti in the capital Tehran. He spent 15 days in solitary confinement in 2013 and was accused of making "propaganda against the regime" and "insulting religious values".–AFP

But since then, the young avant-garde filmmaker told AFP, several other "ridiculous" charges have been added including drinking alcohol, having extramarital affairs and making pornography.

"All I was doing was filming what was being written on the walls of Tehran," said the 33-year-old, who comes from the country's Kurdish minority.Karimi was sentenced to six years in prison in 2015 but after an international outcry in which acclaimed Iranian directors including Jafar Panahi and Mohsen Makhmalbaf rallied to his support, five years of the term was suspended.