Israel will allow entry to an Iranian blogger at the verge of her deportation to Iran where she faces persecution, Israel’s Interior Minister Arye Dery said on Sunday, August 6.
The blogger, Neda Amin, 32, who works as a journalist for the Times of Israel’s Persian website, fled from her home country three years ago and since has been living in Turkey.
Recently, Turkey’s officials informed Amin that she would be deported to the Islamic republic of Iran in coming days.
“Israeli activists say that she could be facing the death penalty in Iran for her work as a journalist. The Jerusalem Association of Journalists and the Union of Journalists in Israel asked Dery to allow Amin to enter Israel as a refugee fleeing persecution” reported Daily Haaretz.
Earlier, international media quoted Neda Amin as saying, “Turkey’s Police Department has repeatedly interrogated me over my job and urged me to quit writing for the Times of Israel.”
Furthermore, Ms. Amin maintained, “Turkey’s interrogators encouraged me to cooperate with the security forces but I rejected the offer.”
The Islamic republic of Iran does not recognize the state of Israel and has repeatedly called it as one of the main enemies of its regime. Therefore, citizens of Iran are not allowed to visit Israel or have any contacts with the country.
Israel, for its part, only in specific cases issues entry visas for Iranians.
Any relation between an Iranian and state of Israel might bring the person dire consequences. That’s what worried Neda Amin’s colleagues and pushed them to hire an attorney with the Jerusalem Association of Journalists (Achiya Ginosar) for defending her.
"Neda Amin is expected to be arrested immediately upon her arrival in Iran, and she faces danger and execution due to her work as a journalist and the fact that she has written several opinion pieces for the Times of Israel in Persian," Achiya Ginosar, said in a letter to Dery.
Earlier, the Times of Israel had raised concern over Neda’s dilemma, reporting, “Amin has appealed to the United Nations in Turkey to protect her, noting that the UN previously designated her a refugee in 2015.
She has also appealed to human rights organizations and others to intervene on her behalf, asking that a country be found where she can be given safe refuge”.
Now, according to the latest news, Dery has accepted the request and will let Amin travel to Israel on a special visa.
Meanwhile, Amin will continue her efforts to seek safe refuge in a Western country.
The UN Watch NGO has also circulated a petition on Amin’s behalf, warning that she “is in grave danger should she be deported back to Iran.”
Neda Amin’s case has made the news at a time that in a controversial move, two Iranian football stars have broken a taboo by playing for their Greek club side, Panionios, against Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Captain of Iran’s National Football side, Masoud Shojaei and his teammate, Ehsan Hajsafi played for full ninety minutes against the Israeli club, on Wednesday, August 3, in Athens.
The footballers have been threatened to lose their spots in the national side and face possible disciplinary punishment.