Cannes stars Ashkan Kooshanejad, Negar Shaghaghi, Ali Ghomashchi Fear Return to Iran

LONDON — Two Iranian actors and musicians who starred in a film at this year’s Cannes film festival are seeking asylum in Britain after a member of their band was arrested in Iran, a report said Saturday.

Ashkan Kooshanejad, 24, and his girlfriend Negar Shaghaghi, 23, were chosen for leading roles in acclaimed director Bahman Ghobadi’s film “No One Knows About Persian Cats”, about Tehran’s illegal underground music scene.

They came to Britain in January on six-month artist’s visas to promote the film but they told the Independent newspaper they feared they would also be arrested if they returned home following President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election.

Kooshanejad said Ali Ghomashchi, the 25-year-old drummer in his band, was arrested days after returning to Iran to be with his family after hearing his sister had been beaten up during the post-election opposition demonstrations.


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