In Iran, an anthropologist with dual citizenship was arrested without explanation, the second in recent months
In Iran, a British-Iranian anthropologist, a Kurdistan-born Kamil Ahmadi, was arrested without explanation. His wife, political scientist Shafag Rahmani, told the BBC that intelligence agencies took the scientist from his home in Tehran on August 11, having seized his passport and other documents, as well as having searched his car.
According to Rahmani, the request for her husband’s status and charges against him remained unanswered. It is only known that the anthropologist was arrested for a month and placed in Evin prison, known for the difficult conditions, where political prisoners are sent to prison. The prosecutor’s office announced that it is investigating Ahmadi’s activities in Iran, and after the completion of the investigation he will be charged, NEWSru.co.il writes.
In a conversation with Radio Farda, the wife of the arrested reported that the charges were related to the activities of Ahmadi. What authority ordered the arrest is unknown. She added that the scientist received British citizenship 25 years ago, but has lived in Iran for the past 15 years. The authorities of the Islamic Republic do not recognize dual citizenship, and the number of foreigners detained in the country is not known exactly. The Iranian and British authorities have not yet given official comment on the arrest of Ahmadi.
The anthropologist, among other things, was investigating cases of female circumcision and child marriage in Iran. Prior to the publication in 2015 of work on the first issue, which was based on 4 thousand interviews, Iran was not known as a state where female genital mutilation was massive. Ahmadi’s recent studies have focused on the Iranian LGBT community and ethnicity. According to LinkedIn, Ahmadi graduated from several prestigious British universities, including the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Radio Farda notes that in recent years several Americans and people with dual citizenship have ended up in Iranian prisons on charges of espionage, while the authorities have not provided strong evidence of their guilt. Among the defendants is Nazanine Zagari-Ratcliffe, a British citizen of the charity, who was sentenced to five years in 2016.
In early June, the famous 60-year-old Franco-Iranian researcher and anthropologist Farib Adelha was arrested in Iran. She is also being held at Evin Prison. Iranian authorities do not report what she is accused of. French media believe that this is about espionage. As the Russian RFI service wrote, Adelkh’s friends and relatives are convinced that the Iranian authorities are in fact holding the scientist hostage to pressure France, which took on the role of mediator in the talks between Tehran and Washington on a nuclear deal.
Kamil Ahmadi’s arrest took place against the backdrop of aggravation of relations between Iran and Great Britain after a series of incidents in the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz. On June 13 in the Gulf of Oman on two tankers after the alleged attack, explosions and fires occurred. The United States blamed the incident on the Islamic Republic; Britain supported this position.
On July 4, British marines detained the GRACE 1 tanker in the Strait of Gibraltar, whose crew is suspected of supplying Iranian oil to Syria, bypassing EU sanctions. In response, Iranian ships on July 9 attempted to capture the British Heritage British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf. On July 19, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps detained a British-flagged tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz, accusing the team of violating international shipping rules.