Daughter of Ahmadinejad adviser seeks German asylum

BERLIN Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:54pm EDT

BERLIN (Reuters) - The daughter of a senior adviser to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has applied for asylum in Germany after receiving warnings she could be in danger if she returns home because of her critical stance on Iran.

Narges Kalhor, daughter of Ahmadinejad's media adviser Mehdi Kalhor, came to Germany to present short film "Darkhish" or "the Rake" at the Nuremberg film festival on human rights.

According to the festival's website, the 10 minute film depicts a machine that brutally punishes prisoners, which it calls a symbol of "totalitarian barbarism."

"On the last day of the film festival I received a call from Iran to tell me that it would be better not to return to Iran because of political problems," said Kalhor.

"If I returned to Iran I would have to answer all sorts of questions and that could be a little dangerous for me -- actually more than just a little," she told Reuters television.

She did not say who warned her against returning to Iran.

The 25-year-old said her film was not critical of Iran's government but was rather "about her personal situation."

Kalhor, who said she had had no contact with her father for more than a year, formally applied for asylum at the start of the week, according to media reports in Germany, one of Iran's biggest trading partners in the west.

In an interview with daily Financial Times Deutschland, Kalhor said she had taken part in street protests over the disputed Iranian presidential election earlier this year.

(Reporting by Michele Sani)

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