Philippines approves asylum request of detained Iranian beauty queen

Bahareh Zare Bahari, Iran's representative to the Miss Intercontinental pageant in 2018. (Courtesy: eventservice.tn)
Updated 08 November 2019

Philippines approves asylum request of detained Iranian beauty queen

  • Bahari was stopped at Manila airport last month due to an Interpol red notice
  • Says she fears for her life and anticipates death or prison if deported to Iran

MANILA: The Philippines has approved the asylum application of Former Miss Iran, Bahareh Zare Bahari, Justice Undersecretary and spokesperson Markk Perete said on Friday, almost a month after the beauty queen was arrested at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Bahari arrived in Manila from a two-week vacation in Dubai on October 18 but was barred from leaving the airport due to what authorities said was an International Police (Interpol) red notice.

"I can confirm that her [asylum] application has been approved as of Tuesday," Perete told Arab News.

He added that he had yet to verify if Bahari had been allowed to leave the airport and admitted into the Philippines, adding that "as of Tuesday evening, the BI [Bureau of Immigration] has started processing her papers pursuant to the ruling on her [asylum] application."




Iranian beauty queen Bahareh Zare Bahari in her cell at the Manila airport. (Credit: Baharah's Facebook account)

The Bureau of Immegration said last month that Bahari was intercepted at NAIA's terminal 3 following an Interpol red notice against her for an assault and battery case allegedly committed in Dagupan City in the Philippines.

Bahari denies any wrongdoing, saying the cases against her are fake. She has also said she would be killed or imprisoned if deported to Iran where the Tehran government is allegedly targeting her for supporting an opposition politician, violating traditional values by taking part in beauty pageants and speaking for women’s rights.

In January Bahari appeared at a beauty pageant carrying a picture of Reza Pahlavi, an Iranian opposition leader and founder of the National Council of Iran.

"If they (Philippines) deport me (back to ) Iran, (they will) at least give me 25 years in jail if they do not kill me," Bahari said in an interview with Arab News last month.


Schools closed in New Delhi as air quality dips further

Updated 15 min 31 sec ago

Schools closed in New Delhi as air quality dips further

  • Buildings and monuments are largely obscured by the haze
  • The smoke from fields mixes with vehicle emissions and construction dust, making it the world’s most polluted capital

NEW DELHI: Schools in India’s capital are shut after air quality plunged to a severe category for the third consecutive day, enveloping New Delhi in a thick gray haze of noxious air.

According to the state-run Central Pollution Control Board, the air quality index Thursday exceeded 460, nine times the level recommended by the WHO.

Buildings and monuments are largely obscured by the haze and an official health advisory has asked residents to avoid all physical activity outdoors.

Air pollution in northern India, including New Delhi, peaks in the winter due to smoke from agricultural fires.

The smoke from fields mixes with vehicle emissions and construction dust, making it the world’s most polluted capital.