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Iranian beauty queen pleads for asylum in the Philippines

ArnoldZArnoldZ PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐

Iranian beauty queen pleads for asylum in the Philippines

Nicola Smith
The TelegraphOctober 22, 2019
Bahareh Zare Bahari an Iranian beauty queen fears her life is in danger if she is deported to Iran - Facebook
View photos
Bahareh Zare Bahari, an Iranian beauty queen, fears her life is in danger if she is deported to Iran - Facebook

An Iranian beauty queen is seeking asylum in the Philippines, fearing for her life after Tehran demanded her extradition for a crime she claims she did not commit. 

Bahareh Zare Bahari, who represented Iran at the 2018 Miss Intercontinental pageant in Manila, and who has studied dental medicine in the Philippines since 2014, has been held for six days at the country’s Ninoy Aquino airport after Iran slapped an Interpol Red Notice on her for alleged assault. 

In a series of messages, the distraught Ms Bahari told the Telegraph that the case was a “big lie,” adding that she believed she was being targeted for her political activism and outspoken support of women’s rights. If she was deported to Iran, “they will kill me,” she said. 

Markk Perete, undersecretary at the Philippine department of justice, said that “the only reason she was held at the airport -  and we really don’t call it detention -  it is really restraining her from entering the Philippine territory, is only because of that Red Notice issued against her.”

He added that the request had been made “presumably on account of a pending criminal case against her in Iran, and this case was filed by an Iranian national against her in relation to an assault that happened presumably here in the Philippines.”

Bahareh Zare Bahari who is studying dental medicine is an outspoken advocate for womens rights - Credit Facebook
View photos
Bahareh Zare Bahari, who is studying dental medicine, is an outspoken advocate for women's rights Credit: Facebook

However, Mr Perete said that the Philippines was unaware of this allegation, and that an earlier accusation of commercial fraud against her had been dismissed. 

There were no criminal cases pending against Ms Bahari, he confirmed. “We don’t have any cause for refusing her entry for violation of our laws.”

Ms Bahari’s asylum plea is now being considered by the justice department, with the help of a lawyer. 

Meanwhile, the dental student is confined to Terminal 3’s transit area awaiting her fate. “There is no updating, no information about the reason why [they] keep me here so long,” she said. 

She believes her political statement at the pageant - waving a poster of Reza Pahlavi, the exiled former crown prince, and one of the foremost critics of Iran’s Islamic government - made her enemies in Tehran. 

Mr Pahlavi's name has been invoked by some Iranian groups who have called for a return of the monarchy to deal with corruption and poor economic conditions.

“I used his photo on stage to be [the] voice of my people because all news and media are ignoring my people,” she said. 

Human Rights Watch on Tuesday called for “a fair and impartial hearing of her claim” in Manila. 

“It’s absolutely critical the Philippines provides Bahareh Zare Bahari with support, including access to legal counsel, to compile and file her asylum application,” said Phil Robertson, HRW deputy Asia director. 

“While waiting for the details to become clear, there should be no action under Iran’s Interpol red notice, especially since under Interpol rules a red notice is null and void if the person named in the notice is found to be a refugee fleeing from the state that issued it.”


There are thousands of Iranian students in the Philippines. If she is granted asylum, other Iranans in the Philippines may be recalled and forced to be sent back to Iran. Or they may request  asylum, too, except perhaps those whose families in Iran may be threatened by the government.


  • CrusherCrusher PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐

    Bahareh Zare Bahari who is studying dental medicine is an outspoken advocate for womens rights - Credit Facebook

    She's hot! I can imagine her strolling at Boracay in string bikini instead of that Thai.

    Bahareh Zare Bahari an Iranian beauty queen fears her life is in danger if she is deported to Iran - Facebook

  • alchemistofophiralchemistofophir PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    edited October 2019
    Ultra-Solid na kaalyado ng ZonLu ang mga Shia Farsis..

    Since time immemorial......

    So yeah, bigyan ng safe haven para mamuhay ng ayos at "maalala" nya ang "nakaraan".

    at yeah, lugar tayo kung saan inaabangan lagi ang mga International Beauty Contests kasi nga gusto natin, magaganda so bigyan na sya ng Filipina citizenship.

    .V.. ..I..

  • ArnoldZArnoldZ PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    She's still in the airport since last Oct. 17. Decision on her request for asylum will be made  Monday, Nov. 11
    She's been in the Philippines since 2014 and she knows her government will not like her activism, she should have at  least hought of marrying a Filipino. Wonder why there is no boyfriend that steps up for her.
  • ArnoldZArnoldZ PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐

    Iranian beauty queen wins asylum in Philippines

    Cecil MORELLA
    AFPNovember 8, 2019
    Bahareh Zare Bahari said she feared for her life
    Bahareh Zare Bahari said she feared for her life (AFP Photo/STR)

    Manila (AFP) - An Iranian beauty queen sought by Tehran on criminal charges has been granted political asylum in the Philippines, an official said Friday, ending a three-week standoff at Manila airport.

    Bahareh Zare Bahari, based in the Philippines since 2014, was denied entry into the Southeast Asian nation on October 17 when she returned from Dubai, with Philippine authorities citing an Iranian warrant for her arrest.

    Claiming Tehran wanted to punish her for opposition to Iran's theocratic regime, Bahari then sought refugee status, holed up in a room at Manila's international airport and using social media to rally support from the international community -- including a plea to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

    "They will kill me", Bahari told Britain's Telegraph newspaper last month, referring to Iranian authorities.

    Philippine Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete told AFP that she had been granted political asylum, adding that she was detained because Iran had asked Interpol for help in arresting and returning her on assault and battery charges.

    "She will be getting out of the airport and coming into Philippine territory," Perete said, but declined to discuss the grounds on which she was granted asylum citing confidentiality rules in the United Nations refugee convention.

    When asked for comment, a consular official at the Iranian embassy in Manila told AFP to call back on Monday.

    Ahead of the asylum decision, rights group Amnesty International had urged the Philippines authorities not to deport Bahari, describing her as "a vocal critic of the Iranian authorities and a public opponent of forced veiling".

    "If the Philippines authorities send her to Iran she risks arrest, torture and other ill-treatment, and unfair trial and imprisonment," Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty's regional director for East and Southeast Asia said in a statement on Thursday.

    In a video posted on her Facebook page two weeks ago, Bahari said she had lived in the Philippines since 2014, studied dentistry and also started a modelling and acting career.

    She represented Iran at the Miss Intercontinental beauty pageant in Manila last year, and said Tehran wanted her deported because of her "political activity".

    Bahari's Facebook page features a photo posted in August showing her wearing a dress resembling the Iranian flag used by the Shah of Iran's regime, which was toppled in the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In the photo, she is seen holding a spear with what appeared to be a photo of Reza Pahlavi, the toppled king's son.

    "My wish is that my country will reach to freedom and equality," Zare Bahari said in her candidate profile at the Miss Intercontinental pageant website.

    Bahari said Iranian authorities had given the Philippines a "fake report" about her, adding that she had been speaking out on social media to show the people of Iran "life without war, with freedom and peace and love".



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