Bahareh Zare Bahari, a beauty queen from Iran, has been detained at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. She is now seeking asylum in Canada.
BEAUTY QUEEN FROM IRAN DETAINED IN THE PHILIPPINES
Bahari, a dental student from Iran, has been detained by Philippine authorities at an airport holding facility since October 17 after a request made by Iran.
The request relates to allegations against Bahari made by Iranian authorities, whom the beauty queen is accusing of wanting to extradite her to punish her for her political beliefs.
BEAUTY QUEEN OUTSPOKEN CRITIC OF IRANIAN GOVERNMENT
Bahari has been critical of the Iranian government. Bahari has been in the Philippines studying dentistry and competing in local beauty competitions.
Bahari has not been in Iran since 2014.
It is thought that Iranian authorities took notice of her during the Miss Intercontinental competition held in Manila, when she displayed a poster of Reza Pahlavi, a vocal critic of the Iranian government.
BEAUTY QUEEN DENIES ALLEGATIONS MADE AGAINST HER
She accuses the Iranian government of trying to intimidate her into silence. She denies the allegations the Iranian government is making against her.
Bahari spoke with The Guardian from her detention cell at the airport, saying that “They are trying to silence me, to scare other women in Iran to become quiet. The women of Iran are tired of this regime that doesn’t give basic freedom. When they come to the street sharia police stop them and bring them to the police office.”
After a trip to Dubai, Bahari was detained by Philippine authorities based on a request by the Iranian government. She sought asylum in the Philippines, immediately thereafter.
BEAUTY QUEEN NOW ASKING FOR ASYLUM FROM CANADA
Realizing that refuge was not forthcoming from the Philippine Government, Bahari has asked the Government of Canada for asylum, fearing that she will be killed if she is extradited to Iran.
In a statement made in Manila, Bahari said that “the Philippines is not a safe place. I am asking the Canadian government for asylum so I can be safe and free from Iran’s persecution. My safety is all I ask for.”
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