Iranian journalist seeking asylum finds refuge in Israel
ندى أمين/ فيسبوك
An Iranian journalist and blogger threatened with deportation from Turkey and facing the death penalty in her home country of Iran for, landed safely in Israel Thursday after being granted asylum in the Jewish state earlier this week.
Neda Amin. who has written blogs in Persian for the Times of Israel, a news website, was approved entry by Israel's interior minister in response to a request by the Jerusalem Journalists Association and the National Journalists Association who claimed her life was in danger for her journalistic work.
"She feared for life, and her work for the Times of Israel was apparently a factor, so I felt we had an obligation to ensure her well-being, and I am very grateful to all the Israeli officials to whom I turned for assistance for providing it, immediately," said the Times of Israel's editor David Horovitz who greeted Amin at Ben Gurion airport.
“Thank you,” Amin told Horovitz repeatedly as she embraced him at the airport, “You saved me.”
Israel's Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, who approved her entry into the country, wrote “Welcome to Israel!” via Twitter upon Amin's arrival.
“I confirmed her entry without hesitation,” he stated earlier this week, confirming her asylum.
"This is a journalist who poses a real danger to her life, only because of writing columns on an Israeli news website,” said Deri, according to Israel’s Ynet News.
Amin fled Iran to Turkey three years ago for fears of being arrested, tortured and executed in Iran. But Turkey announced in recent weeks that she would be deported back to Iran where she would most likely be arrested immediately upon arrival.
"Amin is expected to be arrested immediately upon arrival in Iran and is in danger of execution because of her journalistic work,” her brother wrote in a letter to Minister Deri, pleading for her to be granted entry into Israel.
According to the Times of Israel, the UN Watch NGO orchestrated a petition for Amin, warning that she was “in grave danger should she be deported back to Iran.”
The UN previously designated her a refugee in 2015.
“As soon as we brought Neda’s case to the attention of the Israeli authorities, everybody was helpful and professional,” said Horovitz to the Times of Israel.
“I’m proud to live in a country that responded so instinctively to help somebody who was in danger,” he added.
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A brave woman!