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Acclaimed Iranian artist refused visa to attend Edinburgh book festival

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

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”.

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