Iran Cannes stars seek asylum in Britain: report

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.

"We haven't heard from him for several weeks, neither have his family, they haven't been told where he is being held or what he has been charged with," he told the newspaper.

They had hoped opposition challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi would win the election, believing it would have made it easier for them to return to Iran in July and renew their visas to return to Europe.

Kooshanejad and Shaghaghi said they had previously been beaten and imprisoned in Iran for putting on a concert.

They, and two other band... >>>

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