Acclaimed Iranian artist refused visa to attend Edinburgh book festival

Children’s book illustrator Ehsan Abdollahi says Kafkaesque reasons given for refusal

Iranian illustrator Ehsan Abdollahi
Ehsan Abdollahi has got no right of appeal to contest denial of a visa for Britain. Photograph: Handout

An acclaimed Iranian illustrator has been denied a visa to attend the Edinburgh international book festival amid growing criticism of the UK’s handling of Iranian visas.

Ehsan Abdollahi, described by the festival’s director as a “highly respected, award-winning Iranian illustrator of kids’ books”, was due to arrive in the UK early August, but he has received a visa refusal letter, issued by the British embassy in Dubai and seen by the Guardian. It states that he has “no right of appeal or right to administrative review”.

Abdollahi, 37, who teaches at Tehran’s top Honar (Art) University, has illustrated a number of children’s books published in English by Tiny Owl, including When I Coloured in the World, by one of Iran’s best-known living poets, Ahmadreza Ahmadi.


Categories: The Muslim Times

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