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Academic sentenced in Iran flees to Britain while on bail

Police arrest

dpa/GNA – A British-Iranian academic who was sentenced to nine years imprisonment in Iran has fled the country while awaiting an appeal into his case.

Kameel Ahmady, an anthropologist, was accused by Iranian officials in 2019 of cooperating with the US against Iran.

Court documents published on Ahmady’s blog show he was charged for “cooperating with the hostile state of the USA against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

He was initially held in custody and isolation at Evin prison in Tehran for three months in 2019 before being released pending trial.

Last November, he was convicted of collaborating with a hostile government, a charge he denies, and sentenced to more than nine years in prison.

While on bail in December, and awaiting an appeal into his case, Ahmady decided to flee Iran and return to Britain as he realised if he was jailed, he would be unable to see his son before he turns 15.

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“I came to this decision that I would really need to go, even though it would be very dangerous for me to act on it, and if I fail it would be even worse. But then I made a decision and I escaped,” he told Channel 4, a news broadcaster, on Wednesday.

Ahmady claims he has been targeted as he is a dual national and was researching topics such as child marriage.

He added he believes his arrest in Iran was also in response to Britain seizing an Iranian oil tanker, off the coast of Gibraltar, in 2019.

It had been detained on suspicion of breaking sanctions but was later released.

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