An Iranian filmmaker who has arrived in New Zealand after initially being banned says Iranians are treated as a potential threat outside their homeland.
Roksareh Ghammaghami has touched down in Wellington to promote her new documentary about child brides, after an embarrassing u-turn by Immigration officials who initially denied her visa because they thought she’d overstay.
But Ms Ghammaghami claims it was because she comes from Iran and was racial profiling.
“Outside of Iran they treat you as an Iranian who is a potential threat,” she told ONE News.
Documentary festival organisers labelled the initial decision racist.
“Holding a particular type of passport with perhaps a particular gender you might end up being seen as a flight risk,” said Alex Lee, the festival director.
Ms Ghammaghami represents the new face of Iranian women and believes there’s a lot of misconception in the West about Middle Eastern women.
Iran’s president has urged equal rights for women and condemned sexual discrimination.
“It’s amazing these days. You can travel to countries so far from your country and talk about thing,” Ms Ghammaghami said.
Her film ‘Sonita’ is about a young refugee from Afghanistan living in Iran who dreams of becoming a rapper despite the family’s plans to marry her off for money.