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Ghobadi cancels London trip due to fingerprinting requirement

TEHRAN, Dec. 9 (Mehr News Agency) -- Kurdish Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi has canceled his trip to the UK in protest against the new policy of the British Embassy in Tehran which requires Iranians seeking visas to be fingerprinted, MijFilm, the production company of Ghobadi's latest film "Half Moon", announced in a press release on Friday.

Bahman Ghobadi

"The new measures of the British Embassy smell fanatical and antidemocratic," Ghobadi said in the press release.

"I have traveled to England perhaps 50 times or more... it is ridiculous that I should be fingerprinted by aliens in the heart of my own country for a trip to another country," he added.

He had planned to be in London on December 8 to attend the opening ceremony of the 4th London Kurdish Film Festival, which is scheduled to screen Ghobadi's "Half Moon".

In 2003, Iranian director Jafar Panahi was invited to the 39th Chicago International Film Festival for the screening of his "Crimson Gold" but declined the invitation because of the fingerprinting requirement for Iranians at U.S. airports.

In response to this policy, the Iranian Majlis recently ratified a law requiring fingerprinting of U.S. nationals seeking visas to travel to Iran.

... Payvand News - 12/9/06 ... --

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