Spain confirms release of Spanish human rights activist in Iran

by Lorraine Williamson
human rights activist in Iran

MADRID – The 24-year-old human rights activist Ana Baneira will be released after nearly four months in prison in Iran. This was confirmed by Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares on Sunday. 

Baneira will fly first to Dubai, then to Geneva. Finally, she will arrive at the northern Spanish city of Coruña, where she originally comes from. She is expected to arrive there on Monday. Ana was released on Saturday, the ministry said, which waited until her plane left Iran to make the announcement. 

Human rights activist in Iran

The reasons for her arrest and detention in early November were not made public. Baneira is a human rights activist who, according to Spain’s national news agency EFE, was arrested while allegedly taking part in protests in Tehran. 

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She was one of two Spanish nationals known to have been detained in Iran amid the anti-government protests that erupted in the country following the death of Masha Amini, a woman who died in police custody. She was arrested for not wearing her headscarf. 

Santiago Sánchez 

The other Spanish prisoner is Santiago Sánchez. He was arrested in early October after visiting Amini’s grave while trekking through Iran. The ex-serviceman was on his way to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar on foot. Minister Albares added on Sunday that his joy at Baneira’s release would be “complete” if Sánchez could also go home after five months in prison. 

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