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Kazakh Film Director Detained In Iran For 'Visa Violation'

Kazakhstan - Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Kazakhstan. Astana, 16Oct2011.

By RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

The Kazakh Consulate in the northern Iranian city of Gorgan has said Kazakh filmmaker Qanat Beisekeev was detained by the Iranian authorities on suspicion ofa "violation of visa regulations."

Counsel Aitzhan Ydyrysuly told RFE/RL on June 22 that Beisekeev arrived in Gorgan on June 16 with two associates to shoot a film, but the three were detained because they did not have visas that allow filming in the country -- known as a "journalism visa."

Ydyrysuly added that the consulate is working to locate the three Kazakh nationals and provide them with legal assistance.

Almaty-based public relations specialist Alisher Elikbaev said earlier on June 22 that Beisekeev went to Gorgan to shoot a documentary about ethnic Kazakhs living there.

Kazakh Foreign Ministry press secretary Aibek Smadiyarov told RFE/RL that he has no information on the situation.