updated 12/2/2009 12:13:20 PM ET 2009-12-02T17:13:20

The U.N. refugee agency is considering an asylum request from the Iranian leader of a sect that believes in extraterrestrials.

Negar Azizmoradi has been detained in Turkey for not carrying a valid passport and is being held at a refugee detention center in Istanbul.

Her Raelian Movement in Iran says she faces a possible death sentence if sent home.

The group, sometimes referred to as a cult, denies the existence of God and believes life on Earth was created by clones of extraterrestrials.

An official with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said Wednesday it could take several months to assess Azizmoradi's case.

Turkey allows asylum-seekers temporary residence while the UNHCR reviews their cases.

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