Norwegian-Iranian Citizen Arrested by Iranian Security Forces

09 July 2024 20:45

Hengaw: Tuesday, July 9, 2024

A Kurdish man from Sardasht named Hadi Zaheri (Shalmashi), holding dual Iranian-Norwegian citizenship, was arrested by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s security forces last week. He is an athlete and a bodybuilding coach in Norway.

According to a report received by the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, on Tuesday, July 2, 2024, Hadi Zaheri, a dual citizen from Sardasht residing in Norway, was arrested by security forces in this city and transferred to an unknown location.

Hengaw has learned that Hadi Zaheri was summoned to the Sardasht Intelligence Office on the said day and interrogated for several hours. He was arrested later that evening following a raid by intelligence forces on his family’s home.

According to a source close to Hadi Zaheri’s family, intelligence forces simultaneously seized the passports of Mr. Hadi Zaheri, his wife, and their two children.

After 17 years of residence in Norway, Zaheri entered Tehran by air last month to visit his family and relatives and then traveled to his hometown.

Hadi Zaheri is a professional athlete and coach in bodybuilding and has won awards in various international competitions.

At the time of this report, there is no precise information available regarding the reasons for his arrest and the charges against him.

Hengaw's Warning

The Hengaw Organization for Human Rights warns all dual citizens that traveling to Iran can have serious consequences. Since the beginning of the "Woman, Life, Freedom" revolution, arrests and heavy sentences for dual citizens have significantly increased. The Iranian government does not recognize dual citizenship and may consider these individuals solely as Iranian citizens. This can lead to arrests, document seizures, and legal restrictions for them. In many cases, dual citizens face baseless and unfounded charges that can result in prolonged detention and unfair trials. Hengaw urges dual citizens to be aware of the potential risks and carefully examine the current legal and political situation before deciding to travel to Iran.

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