German-Iranian Assistant for Berlin Film Festival Barred from Leaving Iran
The dual national translator for a prestigious film festival was prevented from boarding a flight to Germany at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport and her passport confiscated as she was leaving the country together with her colleague on November 27.
“Nooshafarin Dastoori has been summoned to the Intelligence Ministry to explain some things,” an informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, although it was not clear what the ministry was seeking.
“Everything seemed to be going well until the last airport checkpoint, when Ms. Dastoori was prevented from boarding the plain and her passport was taken away. I know that she was questioned at the security office in the airport but she was not given a reason why she was not allowed to travel abroad. They only told her that she had to stay in Iran for the time being and answer a few questions,” said the source.
Dastoori, a German-Iranian national, is an assistant to Anke Leweke, the Iran Consultant for the Berlin Film Festival. They were in Tehran to select films, which were confiscated at the airport, according to the source.
“It’s very strange that they confiscated the films. Most had already been screened at Tehran’s Fajr International Film Festival and then selected by Ms. Leweke, who comes to Iran every year along with Ms. Dastoori to find new films for the Berlin festival. They never experienced a problem in the past. Iran’s reputation in the world is tied to these films and now they will not be shown because Ms. Leweke has left without them.”
Over the years Leweke’s selections of Iranian films have earned several awards, notably Asghar Farhadi’s “Nader And Simin, A Separation,” which won Golden Bear for Best Film in 2011 and an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012.