Italian travel blogger arrested in Iran released, to return home

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A young Italian woman arrested in Iran during nationwide protests in late September has been released, the government in Rome said Thursday.

“After intense diplomatic efforts, today Alessia Piperno was released by Iranian authorities and is preparing to return to Italy,” a statement from Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s office said.

Meloni called her parents to tell them their daughter had been released and was returning home, her office said.

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Piperno, 30, was arrested and jailed in Tehran days after authorities there said nine foreigners had been held over nationwide protests.

Street violence flared across Iran after the death in September of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini following her arrest by the morality police for allegedly flouting the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women.

Iran has accused outside forces of stoking the nationwide protests, which have led to dozens of deaths, mostly among demonstrators but also among the security forces.

Piperno’s parents said at the time that they had lost contact with her after speaking to her on September 28, her birthday.
They then received a phone call on October 2 to say she was in jail.

“They arrested me. I am in a prison in Tehran. Please help me,” Piperno told them, according to Il Messaggero, Rome’s daily newspaper.

She added: “I’m fine but there are people here who say they have been inside for months and for no reason. I fear I won’t be let out again. Help me.”

Her father, Alberto, said that she had been planning a birthday picnic with friends from France, Poland and Iran.

Piperno has been traveling the world for the last six years, according to her Instagram account, and had been in Iran for two months, according to the newspaper.

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