Zare Bahari Bahareh, the Iranian beauty queen who has been detained at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for about three weeks now, still fears for her safety in the country, even after the Philippine government granted her asylum request on Saturday, November 9.
According to a STAR report, the beauty queen was held by airport authorities on October 17 after being issued an Interpol red notice filed against her by the Iran government for what she claimed as “false charges”.
She has then pleaded the government to grant her asylum for fear of being deported back to Iran where she alleged she could be imprisoned or worse, be killed for “violating certain traditions such as joining pageants and speaking out for women’s welfare”.
Upon being granted the refugee status, Bahareh on Friday released a statement saying that granting her the refugee status was a “successful step towards resolving the charges and risk of deportation,” but maintains that she’s still in danger due to a lack of security information.
“I deny all the news. I’m sorry that in the current situation, instead of thinking about my position, without me being allowed to compete with anyone else, it allows me to be my own microphone. Until I publish something on my page, please don’t take it seriously. I’m still at the airport.
“Declaring the Philippines ready to grant asylum was a successful step towards resolving the charges and risk of deportation, but I am still in serious danger because no security services are promised or my right to education is pursued by lawyers and it is determined I’ll stay at the airport. Thanks to everyone.
On her Facebook page, Bahareh still continues to seek for help and justice while constantly expressing her fear over her life in the country. She also responded to some netizens who are showing their support by leaving comments on her Facebook post.
In a reply to a Facebook user, Bahareh, who has studied dentistry in the country since 2014, said it is unclear if she will be able to continue her studies. She added she’s only a semester away from graduating.
“(I) still have a semester to graduate ??♀️ this is what they didn’t mention on their (asylum) papers that am I allow to continue my study or not?” she said.
Moreover, the Iranian beauty queen wondered how her security will be handled amid her “risky situation” and said it might be best if she will just stay at the airport for the meantime.
“And other things is they didn’t mention about my security in Philippines… that can they protect me here or no… still my attorney are trying to get the Philippines attention about my risky situation here in Philippines that I need security guard and the regime of Iran will try to terror me for sure. So, I just need stay in airport since they are not mention it on their papers,” she said.
On Sunday, she again took to her Facebook page to stress that while she’s thankful to the Philippine government for granting her asylum, she still doesn’t feel safe.
“Maybe you are thinking the story is finished. NO. It is not. I am still in the airport, I don’t feel safe here. Thanks to Philippines to giving asylum but I’m not happy with this kind of asylum just give an ID and no security services.
“I always mention it I won’t become refugee here in the Philippines. And my asylum request is only to avoid to (be deported).
“Thanks to all my (Filipino) friends and fans and I hope you understand I need safe place.”