Iran releases Spanish woman detained since end 2022: Spain’s foreign minister

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Iran has released a Spanish woman who had been detained in the country since November 2022, Spain’s foreign minister said Sunday.

“She was freed yesterday, but we didn’t want to announce it publicly before her plane had taken off from Iran,” said the minister, Jose Manuel Albares.

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“I was able to speak with her... she is well,” he said, adding she was on her way to northwestern Spain, where she is from.

The woman, Ana Baneira, was 24 years old when she was arrested, the US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) revealed at the time.

The circumstances of her detention were never confirmed by Iranian authorities, however it took place as the country was rocked by protests after the death of Kurdish-Iranian Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested for allegedly violating the strict dress code for women.

Another Spanish citizen, football fan Santiago Sanchez Cogedor, has been held since October, when he was arrested while trying to walk to Qatar for the football World Cup.

“Today is a happy day, but our happiness will be complete when Santiago is also freed,” said Albares, adding he would not stop trying to secure his release.

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