Ana Baneira, the backpacker who spent four months in prison in Iran, denounces that her detention was arbitrary

Ana Baneira He was released last Saturday after spending 138 days in a jail in Iran. The young woman came to A Coruña, on a flight from Geneva. Accused of participating in the protests over the death of the young Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini, The young woman has recounted her experience behind bars for the first time in an interview that has been collected by the EFE agency and Europa Press.

Baneira began a trip as a “backpacker” at the beginning of June 2022. Before arriving in Iran, a country that was not in his route plans, he was traveling around Turkey During two months, Georgia for a month and finally, Armenia. In the end, she ended up in Iran although the young woman wanted to travel to Kyrgyzstan, via ferry from baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. However, since the country’s land border was closed, he decided to go to Iran, where he entered on September 6.

The young woman has affirmed that when she arrived in Iran there was “no kind of protest” nor “we saw anything coming”. Her reason for entering the country was to continue her journey as a backpacker. However, the country was rocked by a wave of citizen protests after the death of the young Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini at the hands of the Police for wearing the veil wrong.

Stopped at a gas station

Baneira was detained on October 12 while she was with an Iranian friend refueling at a gas station. She had been traveling through Iran for a month and was heading to the city of Persepolis. “We were refueling at the gas station and suddenly the Police got into the car. They stopped me, put me in another car and there we went directly to an interrogation room. They interrogated me for several hours and told me that it was not enough and that the next day we had to continue”, explained the young woman.

One day before his arrest, Baneira assures that he went to the office of Migration to extend your visa and be able to stay longer in the country. After a “small interview” in which she was questioned about the “objectives” of her trip and the places she had already visited, the Iranian authorities accepted her visa extension.

Baneira: “I did not expect at all that something like this could happen”

Finally, she entered prison, accused of espionage, although she would not know the reasons for her arrest until several days later. She explains that the first month was “very hard” because of the uncertainty and the fear of being accused of something serious, as it happened.

Two months in incommunicado prison

The young woman has recounted her day-to-day life locked in the women’s unit. Her companions did not know English so communication was difficult. “Mimicry in prison worked quite well, and they taught me some words in Farsi, basically insults. Also good morning. We understood each other through gestures,” Baneira said.

In addition, he has revealed that he spent the first two months without contact with anyone, not even with his family, so he clung to two thoughts that helped him feel strong: “You force yourself to think that your relatives are fine and that they are going to release, but you don’t know when”.

After a month, she was transferred to the prison of Evin, in Tehran. There he was able to talk to the Spanish embassy in Iran to inform them that he was well. After approximately three months in prison, Baneira was released last Saturday by a judge. She knows little about this process, but she thanks the embassy, ​​the entire team of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spanish and al iranian counterpart his work to free her.

Despite the bad experience, Baneira has assured that “it is the country in which I felt safer”. “The people of Iran are very hospitable and they make you feel very, very safe, like nothing bad can happen to you.”

The young woman wanted to clarify that she is not an activist “in any way”. She acknowledges that she is, indeed, linked to the climate crisis and social topics, but it seems “disrespectful” to be called an activist, since “there are real activists who are doing a great job.”

Related articles

Slack confirms that it trains its machine learning LLMs with your data and to...

MADRID, May 20. (Portaltic/EP) - Slack has confirmed that it uses user messages to train non-generative...

Euro blue today: the minute by minute of the price for this Monday, May...

He euro blue today friday may 20 2024, in the market the price of the informal currency is $1185.00 for purchase and $1217.00 for...