Death threats force Afghan film actress to seek asylum in France

Marina-GulbahariAn Afghan film actress Marina Golbahari has been forced to seek asylum in France after receiving death threats from the hardliners in Afghanistan for her role as an actress.

The death threats against Golbahari reportedly intensified after appearing in a film festival in South Korea where she was pictured with head uncovered, drawing the attention of the hardliners.

According to Agence France-Presse, Golbahari arrived in France for a film festival five months and could not return to Afghanistan as threats against her and her husband grew further.

Golbahari’s husband Noorullah Azizi told AFP “We never thought of staying. We hardly packed anything.”

The actress appeared in the Gloden Globe-winning film Osama when she was only 10-year-old, thrusting her to stardom as the heroine.

Her role in the film was depict the a girl who had disguised herself as a boy during the Taliban’s rule so that she can walk freely on the street.

Osama’ was a hit and made Golbahari, now 24, an instant star in her country. “Cinema is my life,” she said. “In a film, I can say everything about my people.”

The threats against Golbahari reportedly increased after the imam in her local village of Kapisa announced that she should not return, which Azizi said translates as: “She must die.”

The couple was forced to move from house to house due to growing threats followed by a failed grenade attack on her house.

She travelled to France together with her husband in mid-November to appear in a festival in Nantes in western France. But their families, who had also received death threats, told them they had to stay away.

The couple have found themselves in a decrepit shelter for asylum seekers in Dreux, 90 kilometres outside Paris. Their small green and violet room looks out over a roof full of discarded rubbish. -KP

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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