Iranian beauty queen Bahareh Zare Bahari is currently detained at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) after Iran issued an Interpol red alert for alleged assault and battery charges. But according to Bahari, she’s being framed and claims she will be killed if she’s sent back to her home country.
The former Miss Intercontinental 2018 contestant was stopped on Oct. 18 when she returned to the Philippines from a vacation in Dubai. She told The Telegraph that she’s being targeted for her political activism and for being outspoken about women’s rights in Iran. This is also why she’s pleading for asylum in the Philippines where she’s also studying dentistry.
Human Rights Watch noted that Iranian women experience discrimination and repression on issues like marriage and divorce. There have also been reports of women being sent to jail for speaking up in favor of equal rights. Earlier this week, the Iranian government lifted the ban on women attending sports games, but this is far from being a win.
Regarding the criminal case against Bahari, the Iranian government claimed she assaulted a fellow Iranian in the Philippines. But Department of Justice undersecretary Markk Perete said authorities were unaware of this. He noted that Bahari was also accused of commercial fraud before, but the case was dismissed.
It’s been almost a week since Bahari was detained in NAIA. We hope her case gets resolved and that the Philippine government could grant her asylum. No one should ever feel threatened for speaking up about equal rights.[New York Post and The Telegraph]
Photo courtesy of Bahareh Zare Bahari’s Instagram account
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