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Iran arrests Spanish woman taking part in protests

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Iran arrests Spanish woman taking part in protests
A picture obtained by AFP outside Iran shows an Iranian police officer (C) raising a baton to disperse demonstrators during a protest for Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's "morality police", in Tehran on September 19, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

A Spanish woman is being held in Iran following the arrest of a Spanish football fan who set out to walk to the World Cup in Qatar, a diplomatic source said Thursday.

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"The Spanish embassy in Iran is aware of the two cases. It is following them and we are in close contact with the families", the Spanish diplomatic source said, without providing further details.

The second Spaniard was identified as a 24-year-old woman by US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

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It said on Wednesday that "an informed source close to her family told HRANA that she was arrested in recent days."

Last month, the mother of Santiago Sánchez Cogedor said her son was being "held in Iran" after he dropped out of contact for several weeks.

Cogedor left his hometown near Madrid in January, hoping to make the epic journey on foot in time for the World Cup, which kicks off on November 20th.

Iran has been gripped by weeks of protests and a deadly crackdown after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in custody. She had been arrested by the notorious morality police for allegedly breaching the country's dress code for women.

The Spanish national arrested in the last few days, who is called Ana Baneira, was detained after taking part in the demonstrations.

In September, Iranian authorities announced the arrest of nine other foreigners, including from Poland, Italy and France, allegedly in connection with the protest movement.

Rome announced that an Italian woman arrested at the end of September had been released on Thursday "after intense diplomatic work" and was preparing to return home.

The families of foreigners detained in Iran often choose to keep a low profile in the hope of securing their release.

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